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.