Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Drinkable Gazpacho

This perfect end-of-summer dish brings together the best seasonal produce with a no-muss, no-fuss prep. Think smooth: True gazpacho is made to be sipped as a drink, not eaten with a spoon. For an extra boost of fiber, leave the skin on the cucumber.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ripe red tomatoes
  • 1 green pepper, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 cucumber, peeled
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, plus more for serving 
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • Pinch of fine sea salt 
  • 3/4 cup cold water, plus more as needed

Directions

Step 1

Cut the vegetables into chunks and add them with the other ingredients to a blender. Process until they turn into a smooth liquid. If it’s too thick, add more water, a tablespoon at a time. Pour into glasses and garnish with a few drops of olive oil and vinegar. 

Yields 4 servings

Shrub

Shrub is an old-fashioned sugar and vinegar syrup that’s having a renaissance. Enjoy it as a fabulous twist for Bellinis and mimosas. For a nonalcoholic alternative to lemonade and other coolers, pour two tablespoons over crushed ice in a tall glass and fill with seltzer. Add a jigger of gin to turn it into a variation of the classic Tom Collins.

Ingredients

For the shrub:

  • 8 ounces fresh fruit, such as blackberries or peach chunks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup Gölles Apple Balsamic Vinegar

For each aperitif:

  • 4–5 ounces sparkling wine, such as prosecco or champagne 
  • Berries or lime slice for garnish

Directions

Step 1

To make the shrub, mash the fruit into the sugar in a glass measuring cup or bowl, cover, and put in the fridge overnight. The next day, mix in the vinegar and chill again for a few hours. Strain the mixture into a clean jar or small pitcher, pressing on the fruit to extract as much juice as possible. Taste and add more vinegar for tartness or more sugar for sweetness. Because the vinegar acts as a preservative, the shrub should last for weeks in the fridge.

Step 2

To make each aperitif, pour two tablespoons of the shrub into a champagne glass and top it off with sparkling wine. Garnish with berries or a lime slice. 

Yields enough shrub for 4 to 6 drinks depending on the fruit.

Wakey-wakey Spiced Persimmon Smoothie

Available during the fall and winter months, seedless Fuyu persimmons are prized throughout the world for their nuanced flavors (reminiscent of pear, pumpkin, and brown sugar) and lack of astringency. Olive oil gives this vitamin- and antioxidant-packed smoothie a rich mouthfeel.

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe Fuyu persimmons
  • 1 banana, frozen, peeled
  • 1 cup almond, cashew, or other milk
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • Pomegranate seeds, for garnish (optional)

Directions

Wash the persimmons and remove the stems. Add the fruit, along with all other ingredients, to a blender and blend for one minute. Pour into a chilled glass. Top with pomegranate seeds, if desired.

Makes 1 smoothie — Recipe adapted from downshiftology.com

Olive Oil Martini

This unusual libation features a technique professional bartenders call “fat washing.” And once you strain the infused gin, you can reuse the olive oil in another recipe. Saveur quipped that it could (tongue in cheek) be called a “quarantini.”

Ingredients

  • One 750 milliliter bottle London dry gin
  • 4 ounces (1/4 cup) best quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 large sprig fresh thyme

For each cocktail:

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil and herb-infused gin (see above)
  • 1 tablespoon white vermouth
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • Pitted green olives, for garnish

Directions

Step 1

A day before you plan to use the gin, start the infusion: To a large jar or airtight glass or plastic container, add the gin, olive oil, rosemary, and thyme. Shake vigorously, then set aside at room temperature to infuse for 12 hours.

Step 2

Transfer the jar to the freezer for another 12 hours (or overnight). This will cause the olive oil to solidify and separate. Place a fine mesh strainer over a second large jar or container, then strain the gin. Wash and dry the original jar and the strainer then line the strainer with a coffee filter. Strain the gin once again to remove any remaining sediment and oil. Use immediately or cover tightly and use within 6 months.

Step 3

Mix the martini: In a mixing glass filled with ice, add 2 1/2 ounces of the infused gin, along with the vermouth and salt. Stir until well-chilled, then strain into a chilled martini glass or coupe and garnish with as many olives as you like. Serve immediately.

Makes 1 cocktail (with enough infused gin for several) — Recipe from saveur.com, April 24, 2020