The first vodka made with extra virgin olive oil in Italy is being released in the northern region of Liguria.
Thomas Cuberli, the inventor of Olioo and chief executive director of the Genoa-based Compagnia di San Giorgio, said that the right amount of extra virgin olive oil gives the vodka a “velvety texture,” a new dimension for the centuries-old spirit.
We look for high-quality products based on high-quality raw materials. Our goal is to have these distillates make Liguria more popular beyond the regional and national borders.
Cuberli added the new product might also further boost the popularity of the most high-quality food products of Genoa and the wider region, where the extra virgin olive oils come from a century-old tradition.
Liguria also has a well-established tradition of producing artisanal liquors from olive leaves or extracts.See Also:On Table Olives and Cocktails
The same distillate producer had already mixed renowned local food products with other popular spirits in recent years, including basil-infused gin and pine nut vermouth.
“We look for high-quality products based on high-quality raw materials,” Cuberli told IlSole24Ore. “Our goal is to have these distillates make Liguria more popular beyond the regional and national borders.”
In a press release, Compagnia di San Giorgio said that “before serving, Olioo vodka has to be shaken, not stirred,” a nod to how fictional British spy James Bond prefers his own martinis.
According to the company, the extra virgin olive oil drops are manually poured into each Olioo bottle.
The addition of olive notes to an alcoholic product is hardly a novelty. In December, a beer producer in central Italy launched Birra Oleo, which includes olive leaves in the brewing process.
Meanwhile, innovators have found a precious ally in extra virgin olive oil for years when it comes to distillates and liquors.
Massimo D’Addezio, an award-winning bartender at Rome’s Chorus Café, has also modified some popular cocktails, such as his Bloody Mary, enriching them with fresh Datterino tomato, green peppers and extra virgin olive oil.
A few years ago, the renowned London bartender Philip Hanson made the rounds with “The Oliveto,” a newly conceived cocktail based on extra virgin olive oil mixed with gin, fresh lemon and egg white.
The Italian innovator Valentina Bertello, a bartender at the Guerrini dal 1958 winebar, has also incorporated extra virgin olive oil into some of her cocktails.
One is based on rum and requires extra virgin olive oil to be sprayed on the glass when serving. The second adds a delicate central Italian extra virgin olive oil to a gin, Campari, crème de cassis, lemon, pink grapefruit juice and sage recipe.