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The Rattlesnake

['1/2 cup sugar', '"4 large egg whites (see Cooks Note), separated individually", 8 ounces rye whiskey', '4 ounces fresh lemon juice', 'Pernod or absinthe (for serving)']

Chill 4 coupe glasses in freezer. Bring sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cover and chill simple syrup until cold, at least 1 hour.
For each cocktail, combine 1 egg white, 2 oz. rye whiskey, 1 oz. lemon juice, and 3/4 oz. simple syrup into a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously (without ice) until mixture is starting to get frothy. Fill shaker with ice and shake vigorously until outside of shaker is frosty and cocktail is frothy, about 20 seconds (yes, a full 20 seconds).
Rinse a chilled coupe glass with Pernod; discard. Strain cocktail through a fine-mesh sieve into glass.

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