Are egg whites the new bitters? Mike McSorley, 27, used the viscous

Are egg whites the new bitters? Mike McSorley, 27, used the viscous fluid to grab first place in the 42Below cocktail competition in Seattle last week. And Ricky Gomez, 27, also used the whites in his second place concoction. Why eggs? Is the use of exotic spices, Andean herbs and unobtanium-infused French salt getting old? As it turns out, egg whites have been hot for a while. Paul Clarke, contributing editor to Imbibe Magazine, his blog the Cocktail Chronicles and one of three contest judges, says egg whites returned when classic cocktails became more popular. “Now I think they’re seen as a standard staple in artisan bars — you wouldn’t imagine having a drink selection that didn’t have at least one egg white drink anymore than you would not having a drink with bitters,” says Clarke. The competition, held at Republiq Nightclub in SoDo, pitted 10 area bartenders against each other, with the top two winning a trip to New York for the national competition this Sunday. The winners there form the United States team for 42Below’s World Cup event in New Zealand. McSorley works at Naga Cocktail Lounge in Bellevue and Gomez mixes at the Teardrop Cocktail Lounge in Portland. Now for the winning drinks:First place, McSorley’s Saffron Julius:1.5 oz Buddha’s hand-infused 42BELOW Vodka1 oz Egg white.75 oz Jasmine Syrup.75 oz honey syrup.75 oz freshly squeezed orange juice.5 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice8 dashes Saffron Tincture1 oz Whole Milk1 oz 40% Heavy CreamSan Pelegrino Soda Water (S.P.) Dry Shake or use battery-powered milk frother to emulsify Egg White. Combine all ingredients except milk, cream, and soda into a Boston shaker filled with large ice cubes and hard shake for approximately 30 seconds. Strain ingredients into a pre-chilled 14 oz highball and add Milk and Cream. Insert battery powered milk frother into drink and thoroughly blend ingredients, incorporating air into the mixture. Let sit for 15 seconds, and then top up with San Pelegrino until the glass becomes full. Wait 15 more seconds for the protein matrix to set, then pour approximately 1 oz of S.P. VERY SLOWLY down one side of the glass to cause the now set froth to extend over the top of the glass (about 1 inch). Garnish: Taking a smooth skinned orange, separate an approx. 1 inch wide and 8 inch long swath of peel from the stem end in a spiral motion. The peel should be a spiral as well. taking the convex side, roll the peel pith side out making a cone so that the orange colored skin can be seen from the inside of the cone. fix the roll with a 6 inch bamboo cocktail pick so it does not unravel. you now have what I call a Faux Rose d’orange.Insert Faux Rose d’orange into the drink so that it rests on the side. Sprinkle approx. 10 pieces of saffron decoratively on the frothy head. Insert a black bend straw in a bent position into the drink next to the faux rose. Saffron Tincture: Take 3 g. of saffron and let sit for 48 hours in 6 oz of high proof neutral spirit. run through coffee filter and add 1 part water for 3 parts tincture. Second Place: Gomez’s Beeing There?1.5 oz 42BELOW Honey?1.0 oz clear creek pear brandy?3/4 oz lemon juice?? 1/2 oz Pedro ximenez sherry?? 1/4 oz Rothman and winter apricot?? 1 egg white??Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin. Dry shake. Add ice and shake. Strain into a coupe and garnish with drops of bitter truth lemon bitters and aromatic bitters.