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
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.
The Drink: Basil Exposition
Bartender Josh Berner adds “olive oil-washed” vodka to Green Chartreuse, white wine and basil.
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, 1⁄3 ounce simple syrup, 1⁄3 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.
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.