Though the avocado is most commonly associated with savory dishes—ahem, looking at you, guac—the tropical fruit has, in the past few years, assumed a new role as a star player in sweet foods and drinks. Thanks to an overall appreciation for healthier edibles in the U.S. (partly bolstered by the fresh juice craze), in addition to the avocado’s rich, creamy texture and subtle flavor, it makes sense that this requisite tortilla chip companion—which is packed with vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats—is serving as a replacement for traditional forms of dairy in a wide variety of creations, from plate to cup.
Avocado in drinks makes sense beyond green smoothies. The craft cocktail world is only continuing to grow, and bartenders are becoming even more creative—some experimenting with savory flavors. Right now, one will find a slew of bars from coast to coast utilizing this beloved fruit, with a noted concentration in Southern California, where farmers grow more than 90 percent of America’s crop.
Zach Patterson of Los Angeles lounge Melrose Umbrella Co. is a fan of adding avocado to drinks because he “loves the flavor and velvety texture avocados produce in a cocktail.” Further, he says, “There is also something to be said about the visual intrigue of a rich, silky-looking green drink.” His ode to the avocado, I Dream of Greenie, incorporates matcha, avocado, and plum-infused mezcal.
A stone’s throw away, popular Mexican restaurant Petty Cash Taqueria offers a libation called The Main Ingredient that’s like guacamole in cocktail form. Created by barman Kevin Frazier, in an effort to use classic Mexican flavors in a new way, the drink calls for tequila, lime juice, avocado, sherry, agave, and house-made salsa water. Of its avocado component, says Frazier, “It’s a fun ingredient to use because the fat content lends an interesting texture and mouth feel to a cocktail. It’s also something that is uncommonly used in beverages, which makes it a fun challenge.”
The Walker Inn, a tasting menu–style cocktail bar tucked into The Normandie Club in Los Angeles’s Koreatown, has rapidly accumulated a slew of accolades for its complex yet often whimsically themed drinks since it debuted last year. Every six weeks omakase begins with an amuse, or welcome dram, and right now one will commence his/her evening with an avocado-vermouth ice cream cocktail conceived by partner Devon Tarby. Per Tarby, “Avocado is awesome for its texture mainly. It’s full of good fats, which our human brains find satiating, but it also adds richness.” Read more…