3 of a Kind: Seaweed Cocktails Bring Briny Flavor to the Mix

Seaweed used to be known solely as something that washed up on the beach. Over the past couple of decades, though, the once-maligned oceanic annoyance has become a hip snack and cooking ingredient. Now creative mixologists are using its saline scent to liven up cocktails and give them sea-like depth.

Apothéke, New York City

Inspired by Europe’s 19th-century apothecaries, this discreet Chinatown cocktail bar offers “prescriptions” prepared with rare herbs and produce, including seaweed. The bar’s head mixologist developed the ocean-influenced Siren’s Call.

The algae-colored beverage combines gin, roasted seaweed, cucumber, squid ink and ginger in a rocks glass with a rim coated in smoked sea salt. It’s adorned with a shimmering oyster shell and a candy pearl.

Photo by: matthias merges ©matthias merges

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Yusho, Chicago

Riffing on the Corpse Reviver #2 found in Harry Craddock’s classic, The Savoy Cocktail Book, former Yusho bartender Alex Bachman devised In Savory We Trust #2. The herbaceous drink combines tequila, slightly bitter Salers Gentiane, herbal and sweet Three Pins Alpine Liqueur, lemon juice and simple syrup. The mixture is shaken, then strained into a rocks glass with a toasted kombu (seaweed) salt rim.

Marvel Bar, Minneapolis

This Minneapolis mixology den offers a simple drink with an international twist in its Old Man and the Sea. Created by Beverage Director Pip Hanson, who studied with acclaimed Tokyo bartender and author Kazuo Uyeda, the drink mixes whiskey from Scotland with ingredient-driven technique from Japan.

The bar steeps 10-year Scotch with seaweed overnight, then serves it with a splash of water. The result is a complex mix of peat, smoke and savory oceanic brine.

Photos courtesy of Apothéke, Matthias Merges and Marvel Bar

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