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Bartender: Jochem Zijp
Where: Osteria Morini, 301 Water St. SE
Mystery Ingredient: Truffle oil
Bartender Response: Abject horror. “It’s so strong. It’s terrible. We never use truffle oil,” he said. “Oils in general, they don’t mix with a drink.” But he was up for the challenge.
What We Got: A bruschetta-inspired cocktail with truffle oil, vodka, basil, and tomatoes—specifically, a pomodoro sauce Zijp stole from the kitchen.
How It Tasted: A brunch cocktail for truffle-loving 1 percenters? It really did taste like bruschetta in a glass, with brightness from the lemon juice to combat the pungent truffle oil. The tomato sauce turned out to be quite drinkable, while the truffle oil, mixed with lemon juice and simple syrup, floated gracefully on the top in little blobs.
Improv Points (1 to 5): 4. Zijp said he couldn’t think of anything else to do with truffle oil, but his solution was clever in its simplicity. “We didn’t want to make it more complicated than it needs to be,” he said.
1 ounce pomodoro sauce (rustic housemade tomato sauce with onions)
3 ounces Stoli vodka
Handful of basil leaves
1/4 ounce lemon juice
1/4 ounce simple syrup
5 to 10 drops truffle oil
Muddle tomato sauce, vodka, and basil leaves. Add lemon juice and simple syrup, then shake cocktail over ice. Strain into martini glass and drizzle 5 to 10 drops of truffle oil on top of the cocktail.
Got a suggestion for the next mystery ingredient? Share it in the comments.
Photo Adele Chapin