Our favorite thing to do with a spring flock’s first egg? Drink it! Dive in with Stacey Brugeman for August’s Last Call cocktail featuring farm-fresh Northern Michigan eggs.

Growing up, my father sold an egg grading machine and I spent my childhood touring farms that housed millions of birds. Needless to say, it felt like no biggie when, a few years into our marriage, my husband asked me if we could get a few backyard hens. We lived in Denver at the time, and he promptly built what friends called the Frank Lloyd Wright of chicken coops—they joked that we could have Airbnb’ed that thing. We raised a few flocks there, and have now done so here at our Northern Michigan home as well.

Every few years when it’s time to add some spring chicks to the mix, we seek out those breeds that add color to our carton, then feed and nurture those soft fuzzy little layers and wait. It takes some 18 weeks from the time a chick hatches until it begins laying eggs of its own—which means a spring flock’s first eggs often come in August.

Each time our newest “girls” lay that precious debut, I’ve celebrated by putting it in a cocktail. There are all kinds of drinks that include a raw egg—eggnog, the gin fizz and, one of my favorites, a pisco sour. Pisco is a grape brandy that is distilled in Peru and Chile. Paired simply with freshly squeezed citrus, it is the viscous, frothy egg white foam that really shines. Grab a rainbow dozen at the farmers market and join me in toasting to fresh barnyard eggs!

Barnyard Pisco Sour

Serves 1

– White of 1 fresh egg
– 2 ounces Peruvian pisco
– 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
– 3⁄4 ounce simple syrup
– 3 dashes of Angostura bitters

Last Call Cocktail the Commencement Cocktail

Photo by Dave Weidner

Place ice cubes in a coupe glass to chill it. Add egg white, pisco, lime juice and simple syrup to a large, dry shaker. Seal tightly and shake continuously until the egg is emulsified and foamy, about 30 seconds. Add one or two ice cubes to the shaker and shake again until the shaker is cold, about 10 seconds. Discard the ice in the coupe, and pour contents of the shaker into the glass, being sure not to leave any of the egg’s frothy goodness behind. Garnish with a few dashes of bitters.

NOTE: While eggs that are purchased from the grocery store or market are often washed already, it is critical when using a backyard egg to rinse the shell thoroughly before using the egg raw. While eggs raised just footsteps from your back door are as fresh as it gets, they are also as dirty as can be.

Photo(s) by Dave Weidner