Bar Susu’s “briny Martini” cocktail, created by Joe Casson, rides a perfectly seasoned knife edge of sweet and savoury, and is called “Hive & Soul” because of the live element of the fermented honey. Note that it should be served in a “super-cute vintage coupe.”
• 1.25 oz Ampersand Per Se vodka
• 0.75 oz Gran Bassano Bianco (white vermouth)
• 0.5 oz Brennivin aquavit
• 0.3 oz manzanilla sherry (such as Bodegas Baron)
• 0.3 oz Sour Carrot Honey (see recipe below)
• 3 dashes Giffard Abricot de Rousillon (apricot liqueur)
• 2 dashes aromatic bitters
• 2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
• Garnish: drops of Chive & Dill Oil (see recipe below), mist of Sarsaparilla, Lime & Orange Peel Aromatics (see recipe below)
Place all the ingredients (except the oil and aromatic mist) into a mixing glass. Add ice and stir to reach your preferred dilution. (Be careful not to over-dilute.) Strain and pour into a chilled coupe. “Splosh” a few drops of herb oil on top and, if you like, spray the sarsaparilla and lime aromatics over the surface of the drink. Serve immediately. Serves 1.
Chive & Dill Oil
This basic recipe will work with soft herbs of all kinds.
• 2 tsp salt
• 4 cups water
• 2 cups roughly chopped and lightly packed chives and dill
• 0.5 to 0.75 cup neutral oil, such as canola
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and prepare an ice bath. Once the water is boiling, add the herbs and cook for about 15 seconds, just until bright green. Using a spider or slotted spoon, quickly transfer herbs to the ice bath and let sit for 5 minutes, until completely cool.
Remove herbs from ice bath and gently blot them as dry as possible with a tea towel or paper towels. Transfer to a high-speed blender and add 0.5 cup oil. Purée until as smooth as can be; if the mixture seems too thick, add the remaining oil.
Line a sieve with three layers of cheesecloth or a coffee filter. Pour in the oil and let it sit for a few hours. Stir occasionally, but do not press the oil through. Pour the oil into a bottle and store in the refrigerator for up to a week—you will need to bring it to room temperature to use it. Makes about half a cup.
Sour Carrot Honey
Note that you will need a digital scale for this recipe, and five to seven days’ time for the fermentation to take place.
• 375 g honey
• 375 g water
• 20 g salt
• 250 g thinly sliced carrots
Mix the water, honey and salt together to create a brined honey. Add this, along with the sliced carrots, to a large, clean mason jar. Make sure the carrots are submerged by placing a sandwich bag filled with water on top of them. Loosely cover the jar with cloth and an elastic band.
After five to seven days, strain off the liquid. It should be gently sour, sweet and salty, ready to use in your drink as the “brine” element to this Martini. Makes about 2 cups.
Sarsaparilla, Lime & Orange Peel Aromatics
Macerating citrus peel and sarsaparilla bark in spirits will extract their aromatic oils.
• 40 g lime peel, as much of the pith removed as possible
• 10 g orange peel, as much of the pith removed as possible
• 40 g sarsaparilla bark, broken into small pieces (available at Modern Bartender)
• 1 cup good-quality bourbon (but not too good)
Place citrus peel and sarsaparilla bark into a sealable plastic or glass container, then add the bourbon. Leave to infuse for two days at room temperature. Strain, and use a tiny funnel to put it into an atomizer spray bottle. Makes about 1 cup.
—Recipe courtesy of Bar Susu