Photo by Nik Blaskovich
The Olio e Limone name continues to spread on its little corner of Victoria Street. At one point, it was only its namesake restaurant. Then it took over the space next door and started busting out delicious pizzas as Olio Pizzeria. And a few months ago, it moved into a third business on the other side of its door, now called Olio Crudo Bar. This place features small plates of seafood and meat and, most importantly (for us anyway), a lovely collection of cocktails designed by owners Elaine and Alberto Morello and prepared by bartender Tim Delaney. The focus here is on Italian-themed drinks, with a range of familiar and unfamiliar flavors.
We dived right in first with an Aperol Spritz, a simple aperitif of Aperol, prosecco and soda, and that whet our appetite for more. The Milano cocktail, very popular already, is the bar’s version of a Manhattan, with ri brand whiskey, Antica Formula Vermouth and Peychaud’s Bitters. The rye makes this as complex and as sweet as you’d want a classic whiskey cocktail. Moving on, we tried a favorite that’s also over at the original Olio e Limone, the Martini all’Olio, with drops of the family’s olive oil in the drink, as well as Stoli vodka, simple syrup, basil leaf and pink grapefruit juice. The result is smooth and basil-forward, and that oil is almost an afterthought.
Mr. Delaney, who was making all these drinks for us, kept the best for last, though: the Balsamic Martini. We’ve had drinks that mix balsamic with strawberry before, but nothing like this flavor sensation: Bacardi rum, strawberry puree, simple syrup and Bevivo Drinking Balsamic. Sweet and sour in one sip, on top of a fruity tongue. Immediately we knew this would be our Drink of the Week.
2 ounces Bacardi rum
1 ounce strawberry puree
1 ounce Bevivo Drinking Balsamic
3/4 ounce simple syrup
Combine ingredients in shaker over ice, shake and strain into coupe glass. Garnish with strawberry.
Olio Crudo Bar
11 W.Victoria St. 899-2699 or www.olioelimone.com/olio-crudo-bar