Extra-Virgin Cocktails From Top Bars

Olive oil is having a major mixology moment at some of the world’s best bars. Here’s everything you need to know about this slick trend.

Get ready to drink down olive oil as bartenders  are using this ubiquitous kitchen ingredient to add flavor and a silky texture to cocktails.

Mouthfeel is a major force for olive oil’s emergence behind the stick. Texture in drinks came on strong a few years back with fat-washing, which uses animal fat from, say, cooked bacon, and blends it with the booze, providing a pleasing, palate-coating sensation to your sip. But unlike fat-washing, olive oil has been shown to actually improve heart health. Barkeeps also say it has more flavor nuances than one-dimensional—albeit tasty—artery-clogging animal fats.

“I admit olive oil is a strange cocktail ingredient,” says Pip Hanson, head bartender at Marvel Bar in Minneapolis, who started the trend with his gin fizz-like Oliveto cocktail, which uses a fruity and peppery olive oil from Spain. “Still, it’s amazing how it adds a fuller, richer texture to a drink.”

Where to Down Your Olive Oil

Trick Dog in San Francisco

The Drink: Alligator Alley

With olive oil-infused gin and Green Chartreuse, this is a comely wink
at the classic olive brine-spiked Dirty Martini.

Ripple in Washington, D.C.

The Drink: Basil Exposition

Bartender Josh Berner adds “olive oil-washed” vodka to Green Chartreuse, white wine and basil.

Marvel Bar in Minneapolis

The Drink: Oliveto

One of the first olive oil drinks, it emulsifies olive oil and egg white for a richly textured tip-back. 

Try the recipe: In a shaker combine 2 ounces London dry gin, ¾ ounce lemon juice, 13 ounce simple syrup, 13 ounce Licor 43, 1 egg white, and ½ ounce olive oil with three cubes of ice. Shake until the ice is nearly gone (about 2 minutes). Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and serve. 

Levant in Portland, Oregon

The Drink: Phaedon

Plymouth Gin infused with Israeli olive oil gives this silky martini an earthy flavor. Dry vermouth and coriander bitters complete the drink.

Published on August 16, 2013
Topics: Cocktail Recipes, Cocktail Trends, Spirits Trends


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