Oysters with Vodka Mignonette Sauce

It’s the beginning of oyster season now. The following recipe features oysters but the real star is a take on the classic Mignonette sauce often served with raw oysters on the half shell. In the classic version a white wine reduction is the base for the sauce. In this updated version, vodka is substituted. Many people wouldn’t think to pair a distilled spirit with food but the super premium vodkas are distilled and filtered to remove impurities and flavors that can clash with food. These vodkas actually enhance some flavors that contain flavor compounds that are most soluble in alcohol.

Don’t try this with bargain brand vodka, the results are too harsh. We used Crystal Head, a relatively new brand on the market but any premium brand will work well.

Vodka Mignonette Sauce
¼ cup plus 1 teaspoon premium vodka (Crystal Head, Grey Goose, Belvedere..etc)
2 ½ tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
1 shallot, very finely chopped
White pepper to taste
Salt as needed

Place ¼ cup of the vodka and the vinegar in saucepan and bring to a rapid boil. Turn off the flame and stir in the shallot and white pepper. Reserve the liquid from the oysters as you shuck them. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve and add up to ½ cup of the strained liquid to the vodka/vinegar mixture. Stir to combine and taste. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of vodka and a pinch of salt if needed and chill till serving time (oysters tend to be salty so taste carefully).

Serve the sauce in small dishes or ramekins, letting your guests spoon it on top of each chilled, raw oyster (or clams) on the half shell.

Yield: Sauce for 18-24 oysters

The Ghostbusters and Blues Brothers star himself, Dan Aykroyd, will be in town on Friday, October 29th to promote his popular, super-premium vodka, Crystal Head Vodka. He will visit Boca Park’s Total Wine & More at 730 South Rampart Boulevard from 4:00 to 6:00PM for a bottle signing.

  1. very nice recipe..good to know that In the classic version a white wine reduction is the base for the sauce. In this updated version, vodka is substituted.

    • Sarah
    • August 29th, 2011

    This looks absolutely WONDERFUL ! ! Can’t wait to try it for dinner Saturday evening.

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