As you can probably guess, we are huge fans of olive oil. We like to add it to pretty much all our foods, including some contemporary desserts, lather it on our skin and even gulp down tablespoons of the health boosting elixir. So of course you can imagine how thrilled we were to learn that the ‘Olive Oil Cocktail’ is now a thing.
The humble olive has always played an important role in making the perfect martini, and now, according to Najib Benouar of Urban Daddy, dosing your drinks with olive oil is a practice that’s been whispered and employed in the more experimental corners of mixology over the past few years. Drinks luminary Eben Freeman has dabbled in it. Marvel Bar out in Minneapolis has been considered a pioneer. And elsewhere you’ll find bartenders using the stuff in all manner of drinks, but most frequently in martinis.
With such pronounced and unique flavor profiles, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) can be a strong player in food and beverage recipes. There’s a long history of savory cocktails that take cues from the food world, and olive oil can enhance drinks in a similar fashion. – Kevin O’Connor, chef-at-large for Cobram Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
As with cooking, the better quality the EVOO the better the taste of the cocktail. Apart from the added health benefits your get from consuming high quality extra virgin olive oil, the quality stuff has much better flavour with depth and intensity.
The first time I experimented with olive oil in a cocktail, the oil was really aromatic and greeted the senses before taking a sip. As I drank the martini, I was left with a very silky mouthfeel and soft lips. It was almost like drinking and putting on a healing chapstick at the same time. – Kevin O’Connor.
Davide Gagliazzo, bar manager of Gordon Ramsay’s Union Street Cafe in Southwark, South London, said: “Olive oil enriches the drink – it gives it a silky texture and complexity.’
Chef Kevin O’Connor explains that he’s had great success with using egg whites in the drinks to emulsify the olive oil. To complement the vibrant green, herbaceous, grassy notes in the olive oil and to contrast the levels of bitterness and pungency in our oil, he came up with a sweeter, ‘greener’ cocktail he named the McGavin.
Here is the recipe from urbandaddy.com:
1 oz gin (O’Conner likes Four Pillars)
1 oz green Chartreuse
1/2 oz fresh Meyer lemon juice (regular lemon juice or even lime will work in a pinch)
1/4 oz simple syrup
1 big sprig of basil
1 egg white
1/2 oz EVOO
Mix the gin, Chartreuse and lemon juice in the shaker. Add the remaining ingredients, a small sprig of basil and three to five cubes of ice. Shake until the ice is nearly gone, or for about two minutes. Strain and serve up, garnished with a sprig of basil and a couple droplets of olive oil on top.