The Milo Cocktail

Northwest Palate asked Lance Mayhew to pair a cocktail with Jenn Louis’s Clams with Preserved Lemon, Garlic and  Pimentón

Lance Mayhew with Jenn Louis

Lance Mayhew and Jenn Louis

“Jenn’s dish has a Mediterranean aspect to it,” says Mayhew, “so I wanted to reflect that in the cocktail by the use of an olive flavor, but I also wanted clean flavors that would play off the citrus side of the dish.”

Mayhew took as his starting point the Martini—a true, gin Martini, not one of the “500 Classic” ’tini corruptions commonly found at bars. “I wanted to have the olive in the Martini, but without the olive in the glass.” To do that he used a technique called “fat washing,” essentially transferring the flavor of a particular oil or fat to a base spirit, while allowing for the removal of the source of the accenting flavor from the spirit.

The result is a cocktail that offers a subtle olive nuance as well as a clean citrus twang—both of which complement key flavors in Louis’s dish.

Recipe: The Milo Cocktail

Summary: Recipe courtesy of Lance Mayhew, Portland, OR


  • 3 ounces olive oil-washed (see recipe below) Bombay Sapphire Gin
  • 1/2 ounce sherry wine vinegar
  • Lemon twist
  • Rosemary sprig (optional)


  1. To make olive oil-washed gin:
  2. In a large glass bowl add one 750 ml bottle of gin and 1/2 cup of good quality olive oil (I used Sepay Groves out of the south end of Napa)
  3. Cover and store in a cool, dry place for 1 week.
  4. Refrigerate the olive oil/gin mixture overnight to firm up the olive oil then pour through a coffee filter to remove the solidified olive oil.
  5. To prepare the cocktail:
  6. Add ice and vinegar to a mixing glass
  7. Shake vigorously to coat the inside of the glass and ice with vinegar, then strain off vinegar.
  8. Pour the gin on top of the marinated ice
  9. Stir until chilled
  10. Serve up with a lemon twist and garnish with a sprig of rosemary.

Number of servings (yield): 1

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