I don’t know how things are going to turn out today. Isn’t that exciting? Oh, I have some ideas where we are going to end up, but I don’t know for certain. That little bit of mystery has had me excited all day in anticipation of learning the answer. When I first heard about this drink, I was intrigued. Intrigued enough to actually put off making it, after all, a pleasure delayed is a pleasure enhanced, usually. So in the interest of finally paying off that postponed gratification, won’t you please join me now, as we stand and make the Oliveto.
This drink is a bit of a cult classic that originated in Minneapolis’ awesome, sorta secret, spot for drinks, Marvel Bar. Sadly, this is another of those iconic places that has been lost to Covid. They closed temporarily in April of last year and subsequently, chose to not reopen. It’s a shame to have lost another legendary location, but we have this drink and many other Pip Hanson classics to remember it by. This is probably the most popular, or at least the one with the biggest cult following, because of an unusual ingredient, olive oil. Hanson describes this riff on a Gin Sour as an “emulsified sour” with a “totally unique, silky meringue texture.” I am not quite sure what to think, so let’s mix one up and become better educated, together.
Grab your tins and pop in 2 ounces of gin, I chose Spanish Mahon Xoriguer; 1 ounce of fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1/2 an ounce of olive oil, I chose Enzo’s Table; the recipe calls for 1/4 ounce of Licor 43, but I subbed in Tuaca, for personal reasons; 1/4 ounce of simple syrup and 1 egg white or aquafaba. We are going to dry shake this one, a lot, like 200 times before adding ice for the finishing shake. Crank up something with a sexy beat, it’s a Minneapolis drink, so go with Prince, something early like, “When Doves Cry” and get to work. When you have finished with the dry shake, gotten wet and made the tins cold, strain into something interesting and garnish with a couple of olives on a pick, maybe tie a long lemon peel around them, shibari style.
This is not at all what I expected. Seriously. It is smooth and creamy and light, which makes sense with all that shaking. This is wonderfully dry and smooth and unique. What it is not is oily. I really expected this to have an oily mouthfeel and finish, but it doesn’t, not at all. It is almost the opposite, a nice dry finish. You get the subtle flavor of the olive oil and it adds to the creaminess, but that egg white helps to completely emulsify it into the drink.I see why people fall in love with this one. It goes away in the glass way quicker than I had planned, as my grandpa would have said, it has a bit of a more-ish taste.
That’s the great thing about expectations, they are really only useful when they are broken. I had a pretty clear idea of how this one was going to taste before I made it and I was almost completely wrong, in a good way. Which is kind of nice. There is nothing interesting about something turning out about like you expected. It is the surprises that keep us coming back for more. Sure there is something to be said for nice, comfortable things that go exactly as expected along a prescribed path, I think they call them ruts. How lovely to have things shaken up every once in a while and step outside of our comfort zones. Hopefully there is a lot more of that to come as we move closer to a post-pandemic world that may feel very different from the one we knew a year ago. I can’t wait to step back through some of those old doorways with a greater appreciation of the things we left behind and I look forward to seeing you all out in the world again. Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.