Like a Margarita on steroids
Margaritas are luscious. But maybe you’re ready for advanced imbibing?
Enter the Prado Cocktail, which takes Margarita magic to the next level. It substitutes maraschino liqueur for triple sec, making for edgier flavor. And it incorporates egg white, which adds a great-looking foamy head to the drink.
Looks good. Drinks better.
Recipe: The Prado Cocktail
The Prado Cocktail traditionally is made with tequila, maraschino liqueur, lime juice, and egg white. It’s even better with mezcal.
Egg whites add foamy fun to cocktails. But separating eggs can be a pain (plus there’s the raw-egg health risk). Well, good news! We’ve discovered a commercial egg-white substitute that’s easy to use and good quality. More in the Notes.
This recipe takes about 5 minutes to make and serves 1.
- 2 ounces blanco/silver tequila (though we like to substitute mezcal; see Notes)
- 1 ounce maraschino liqueur
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 egg white (may substitute commercial cocktail foamer; see Notes)
- garnish of lime wheel or twist (optional)
- Combine all ingredients (except garnish) in a cocktail shaker half filled with ice (but see Notes for an alternative method). Shake very vigorously until the contents are well chilled and frothy (at least 30 seconds).
- Strain into a cocktail glass, preferably one that has been chilled. Add garnish, if desired, and serve.
- We generally use 1 egg white for every 1 or 2 drinks. You can get by with ½ egg white for 1 drink, but it’s such a bother trying to measure it out that we just use the whole white.
- Shaking egg whites with ice inhibits the creation of foam. So we often shake first without ice (we put all the ingredients – except ice and garnish – in a cocktail shaker and shake away). Then we add ice and shake again, just enough to chill the drink.
- The egg white in this drink gives a nice frothy head, which looks great. The foam also provides a pleasing mouthfeel. It doesn’t add flavor, though – it’s all about texture and appearance.
- But, as noted above: Egg white is a bit of a pain to deal with. And eggs carry a slight (but real) risk of salmonella. So many of us are reluctant to use egg whites in cocktails.
- Pasteurized egg whites and egg whites sold in cartons don’t work as well in cocktails as fresh eggs (we find it hard to create a satisfactory foam). And if you’re vegan, they’re still a no-go.
- One readily available substitute is aquafaba (the packing juice in cans of chickpeas). Just use about the same amount of aquafaba as you would egg whites (say, ¾ ounce).
- Or you could use commercial egg-white foamer. Just add a tiny amount to the cocktail shaker and shake (with ice) as you normally would. Instant foam!
- We like the brand from Fee Brothers called, appropriately enough, Fee Foam. This comes in a 5-ounce bottle (it looks like a bottle of bitters). And, as with bitters, you need just a few dashes per cocktail – we use 3 or 4.
- We’ve also heard good things about Ms Betters Bitters Miraculous Foamer, but we haven’t tried that yet.
- Commercial foamer is very easy to use (plus it’s vegan). And unlike egg whites, it won’t separate from the drink – which is good if you’re a slow sipper.
- We haven’t been able to detect a flavor in commercial foamer (though some people claim it has a slight soapy taste).
- The only negative we’ve observed with commercial foamer: The mouthfeel isn’t quite as luxurious as that of a drink made with egg whites.
- The Prado Cocktail traditionally is made with silver (blanco) tequila. But we think mezcal works even better.
- All tequila is actually a form of mezcal, and both are made from the agave plant. Tequila is made only from blue agave, while mezcal can be made from many different agave species.
- Mezcal has a haunting, smoky flavor (because it’s usually produced in small batches over a wood or charcoal fire).
- Bottles of mezcal allegedly contain a “worm” – actually a moth larva (in other words, a caterpillar). In reality, though, most high-quality mezcals are wormless. Which might be a good or bad thing, depending on your point of view.
- The history of the Prado Cocktail is somewhat obscure. As far as we know, a recipe for it first appeared in print during the 1970s in Jones’ Complete Barguide, a compendium of some 4000 recipes. Beyond that, not much is known.
- BTW, “prado” means a grassy meadow or field in Spanish.
- Our recipe differs a bit from the standard formula, which calls for 1½ ounces tequila, ½ ounce maraschino liqueur, ¾ ounce lime juice, and ½ ounce egg white (about half an egg white). It’s good, but we think our version is better. Our recipe isn’t original – we’ve seen this variation many places on the interwebs. It may have originated at the Zig Zag Café in Seattle.
“Taste test time!” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs, exchanging her glass for mine. “Which version do you like better, tequila or mezcal?”
“They’re both delish,” I said. “But I really like the one you’re drinking now. Let’s switch again.”
“I’m losing track of which is which,” said Mrs K R, handing me her glass.
“The mezcal version is definitely better,” I said. “More pizzazz.”
“You probably got the worm,” said Mrs K R.
Guess that’s why I’m wriggling with delight.
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I like that foam from the egg white. I didn't know that pasteurized egg whites didn't work as well in cocktails. I wonder if a dash of cream of tartar would help them foam better??
Hi Pat and Dahn, interesting idea about the cream of tartar! Will have to try that. Although I think it's mainly Fee Foam in our future -- that stuff works really well. Thanks for the comment.
I have a feeling I would really LOVE this drink!
Hi Pam, it's really, really good. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I never heard of egg white as a cocktail ingredient -- neat idea. Using the liquid from a can of garbanzos sounds downright weird. But I'm still a wine-o when it comes to drinks.
best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com
Hi Mae, there are virtues to being a wine-o. :-) Thanks for the comment.
This sounds delicious! I'm going to give the Fee Foam a try too.
Hi Martha, if you like the appearance of egg white in drinks -- and we do! -- Fee Foam is good stuff. The "egg white" is all the pictures in this post is actually Fee Foam. Thanks for the comment.
That looks so pretty with the foamy topping. Bet it tastes really good. I have used chickpea liquid to make meringue cookies before, would be fun to experiment it with this cocktail too.
Hi Angie, always fun to experiment with cocktails. :-) Thanks for the comment.
The drink looks like it is delicious and could get me in trouble. (One too many)
I like the idea of using a non egg product to get the foam. Amazon to the rescue!
Hi NCR, indeed, more than two of these might be trouble. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Anne, Amazon is always rescuing us! :-) Thanks for the comment.
John, I hadn't seen today's post yet, but Marion had already declared we were going to make it—with mezcal, of course. And bring on the egg white! Besides the foam, we like the velvety mouthfeel it gives drinks.
Hi Terry, the mouthfeel egg white gives really is one of the best reasons to use it. Looks so good, too. And yes, mezcal is the way to go! Thanks for the comment.
I love your ideas for an egg white substitute and can see a lazy evening spent sipping a Prado cocktail very viable. Thanks for sharing John 🙂
Hi Merryn, we love lazy evenings with a cocktail! :-) Thanks for the comment.
This is interesting. I've never had a drink with an egg white, but I have had plenty margaritas. :) Maraschino liqueur and tequila is a very unique combination in my experience, which compared to yours is so very limited. :) A very curious cocktail and one I would love the try.
Hi MJ, this really is an unusual combo. But a fun one. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Aren't cocktails beautiful?! I love the concept of an "Advanced Margarita"
Hi Inger, cocktails really are pretty. Tasty, too, but they can be absolutely gorgeous. :-) Thanks for the comment.
this looks fab as usual KR. Mm egg whites? i don't think we have any problems with raw eggs here - except if you're pregnant maybe. Not really a worry for me:-) Cheers!
Hi Sherry, dodgy raw eggs aren't that big of a problem here, but they do have a bit of a risk. Not one we mind all that much, but one that's there. Alas. Thanks for the comment.
I know I would love this cocktail, could you make me one please.
I've never heard of Prado Cocktail (Probably, because not really into tequila), but this combo of flavours sounds lovely! The idea to use egg whites for the foamy layer is cool, too!
Refreshing and delicious cocktail summer evening out on the patio. Aquafaba is a great idea for a foamy top. We always have a can of garbanzo beans on the shelf. Enjoy your summer as it is certainly going by so fast.
I always find myself admiring your cocktail photos as much as the cocktail itself. This looks like a beautiful drink. And always love learning about so many liqueur's that I never knew existed. Thanks John.
Hi Gerlinde, I'd be glad to! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Ben, this isn't all that well known of a cocktail, alas. But it should be! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Bobbi, it's supposed to hit over 100 tomorrow, so we'll be enjoying one of these indoors! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Lea Ann, so many liqueurs, so little time. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I appreciated all the egg white discussion. And, I love the maraschino option here. Delish!
Hi Debra, maraschino has such great flavor! As does this drink. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Oh baby! We're speaking the same language! This is one Manservant has perfected! Cheers!
Hi Abbe, tell Manservant to make you one this weekend. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I'll take the margarita on steroids, please.😁 This drink is very pretty and intriguing, John! Great suggestion to use the aqua faba as a vegan substitute for the egg white in this recipe!!
Hi Marcelle, it's not only pretty, it's really, really good. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Love “advanced imbibing!” Sounds like a graduate-level course!
Love the sound of this cocktail… and have all the ingredients including actual egg whites and aquafaba. And guess what? Is Friday… let the weekend begin!
Hi David, we always look forward to the weekend. :-) Thanks for the comment.
It is super refreshing! Happy Summer!
Hi Denise, happy summer indeed. :-) Thanks for the comment.
What a light and lovely cocktail to serve this summer. So pretty, too! :-) ~Valentina
Hi Valentina, we do like pretty cocktails! :-) Thanks for the comment.
The name automatically made me think of the famous Madrid museum. Any connection?
Hi Carolyn, I wondered that too! As far as I know there's not. Thanks for the comment.
Looks delicious. And Wimbledon is coming...
Hi Amalia, Tour de France, too. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Just gorgeous! And I'm positive it tastes as good as it looks.
Hi Liz, it does. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I love this one, John, and am so happy to read all the tips and tricks. I think I'd love the marachino flavor. And I had no idea there was such a think as a commercial foamer. It sounds like such a great convenience.
Hi Jeff, we just discovered commercial foamer too! It's a neat product -- makes drinks look great. BUT -- the mouthfeel isn't quite as nice as with actual egg white, which is a bit of a bummer. Thanks for the comment.
Ohh I never knew there is a commercial cocktail foamer. How about aqua faba?
Hi Raymund, the commercial foam is pretty good stuff. As is aquafaba. Or egg whites, of course, although a bit of a pain. Thanks for the comment.
"takes 5 minutes and serves 1" NOW THAT'S MY KIND OF COCKTAIL! But then I would make it over and over again and probably lose track!
Hi Roz, it's easy to lose track when you drink these. :-) Thanks for the comment.
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