Cocktails ‘n’ ersters

What do you drink with oysters on the half shell? Jen and I usually have wine, normally a Muscadet, but we recently found ourselves with BeauSoleil oysters but no appropriate wine.

So Jen challenged me to come up with an appropriate cocktail to pair with oysters. We wanted something crisp, aromatic, and lightly briny. We had no olives for a martini, but I remembered a drink I had made some time ago and wanted to revisit: the Paez.

This drink originated at Little Branch in Manhattan, but I first heard of it through Paul Clarke’s blog, Cocktail Chronicles. A fine-grained sea salt is important here because it blends well with the liquids, and is subtle in the drink–almost unnoticeable, but present enough to marry drink and bivalve in a pleasing way.


  • 2½ oz. gin
  • ½ oz. dry vermouth
  • 6 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
  • pinch sea salt

Technique: Stir with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass, garnish with lemon twist.


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