Imagine fresh, briny oysters paired with smokey whisky to take your next Spring/Summer backyard gathering or Friday night wind-down to the next level. Sometime 1806 chef Nuno Gabriel developed this stellar recipe for Lagavulin distillery’s 200th anniversary celebrations and the release of their limited edition 8 year old whisky in Melbourne. Don’t be intimidated by the French title. This dish is super easy but tastes like you’ve earned your Michelin star (mignonette is just a fancy name for a peppery vinaigrette). Choose Pacific oysters, like Coffin Bay, so as not to overpower the smoky or Islay style whisky of your choosing.
Pacific oysters (as many as you can eat)
Forvm Chardonnay Vinegar (enough for a teaspoon or two on each oyster)
French Shallots, (“lots” says Nuno, in ratio with your vinegar)
Lagavulin 8 year old whisky or other Scotch of your choice, to garnish
Lagavulin 8 year old whisky, extra dram per person
Dice your shallots finely. Add to vinegar, stir and leave covered for 1 hour (or up to a week in the fridge if you can to mellow the flavours out). Shuck your oysters just before serving. Add white pepper and whisky to your vinaigrette to taste. Spoon a teaspoon or so onto each oyster as you serve. Serve with a dram of Lagavulin.
Note: You can experiment with other forms of alcohol (perhaps champagne or sake) in this recipe. Freshly grilled coins of chorizo sausage with a crack of black pepper and a splash more Lagavulin is another great oyster topping alternative.