This cocktail by Morgan Schick, former creative director of San Francisco’s Bon Vivants and Trick Dog, has a few tricks up its sleeve. For starters, there’s the Douglas fir-infused vodka, which can either be bought at a specialty liquor retailer or made ahead of time, and then you’ve got the homemade red shiso-avocado simple syrup for additional layers of flavor and complexity. This is not a cocktail for the faint of heart or palate—with a hint of heat, a bright pop of citrus, and a finishing touch in the form of infused sea salt, the Rich Table and its unique drinking experience make it worth all the effort.
While often thought of as a small detail, salt’s presence in a cocktail can make a serious impact on flavor profile. A small pinch can not only brighten fruit notes in a shaken drink, but can also act as somewhat of a unifying agent, tying together a cocktail’s other ingredients in a nice, tidy bow.
The use of salt on the rim of a glass can do the same, but in more of a choose-your-own-adventure format—you can opt in or out of including it in any given sip, and once you start playing around with infused or flavored salts, the added aroma and flavor factors can really take things to the next level. In the Rich Table’s case, pinot noir-infused premium sea salt brings a savory quality into the mix along with peripheral notes of vanilla and ripe red fruits, as well as an overall vinous quality, subtle as it may be. A relatively small amount of salt is needed for this cocktail’s rim, leaving plenty left over for additional rounds and for use in the kitchen.
This recipe originally appeared as part of “Infused Salts Are the Next Big Cocktail Ingredients.”
- 1 1/2 ounce douglas fir vodka*
- 1/2 ounce Martini & Rossi Riserva Speciale Ambrato vermouth
- 1/2 ounce Ancho Reyes chile liqueur
- 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 ounce shiso-avocado syrup**
- Club soda, chilled, to top
- Garnish: pinot noir sea salt rim
Rim a highball glass with pinot noir sea salt.
Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Strain into the prepared highball glass over fresh ice.
Top with club soda.
*Douglas fir vodka: Add 16 ounces of vodka and 15 grams of fir tips into container and blend well. Let sit for 2 days. Strain through coffee filter.
**Shiso-avocado syrup: Roast 2 avocado pits at 200 degrees F until shells start to dry out. Let cool, peel and chop into quarters. In a pot, toast pits along with 3/4 oz black peppercorns. Add 14 oz white sugar and 14 oz water, bring to a boil, then let simmer. Add 1/3 oz red shiso leaves and remove from heat. Steep for 30 minutes and strain.