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Starlite’s The Stockholm: sweet, sour, and creamy

Vegan-friendly aquafaba gives the drink a silky-smooth mouthfeel

The Stockholm
The Stockholm
Jack Reynolds

They say you learn something new every day. Today, I’m learning about two things: aquavit and aquafaba. Jack Reynolds welcomes me to Starlite, where he serves up The Stockholm, named for aquavit’s traditionally Scandinavian origins. He describes the drink as being “like a classic lemon drop martini, but with a lot more flavor with the aquavit. And a really nice creaminess with the aquafaba.”

Place

Starlite

3175 India Street, San Diego

He first gives me the backstory. “This cocktail was originally created by our first bar manager, 14 or 15 years ago. And we were able to get this Swedish aquavit… And then all of a sudden, we weren’t able to get [that brand] anymore, and it just was never the same.” That was until they encountered Batch 22, a new American aquavit made locally. “Every now and then, you come across something that’s just perfect, a showstopper… you know you can make a great drink, if you have the foundation for it. So once I tasted it, I knew we needed to revive The Stockholm cocktail.”

With a fresh lead on a hard-to-find spirit, Reynolds was able to bring the recipe back — with one notable tweak. “We used to use egg whites, but now we use aquafaba, which is a vegan-friendly ingredient. It’s basically the juice that surrounds garbanzo beans in a can. It can be any bean — but apparently, garbanzo beans are more widely used.”

This addition gives the drink a silky-smooth mouthfeel. “Aquafaba is wonderful. We actually use it in some of our dressings on salads… It gives you that nice, viscous texture.” He thinks this also helps the cocktail to go hand-in-hand with food, particularly the chickpea battered greens appetizer, which he recommends with a chef’s kiss, saying, “It’s awesome, so good.”

A splash of lemon juice and simple syrup complete this straightforward cocktail. “We want our drinks to be simple. We want to showcase the spirit. We want you to taste the nuance of the aquavit,” says Reynolds. “Batch 22 uses a list of spices. I get coriander, cardamom… it’s almost like an infused vodka, essentially. The lemon and the simple syrup soften [the spirit] a bit, but it’s still very well-balanced, easy to drink, with a nice feeling to it.” Summing up the refreshing and quaffable cocktail, Reynolds adds “It’s sweet, it’s sour, it’s creamy, just everything at once.”

  • Starlite’s
  • The Stockholm
  • 2 oz Batch 22 Classic Gold New American Aquavit
  • 3/4 oz Fresh Lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz Simple Syrup
  • 1/2 oz Aquafaba
  • Combine all ingredients into a cocktail tin full of ice, vigorously shake and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
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The Stockholm
The Stockholm
Jack Reynolds

They say you learn something new every day. Today, I’m learning about two things: aquavit and aquafaba. Jack Reynolds welcomes me to Starlite, where he serves up The Stockholm, named for aquavit’s traditionally Scandinavian origins. He describes the drink as being “like a classic lemon drop martini, but with a lot more flavor with the aquavit. And a really nice creaminess with the aquafaba.”

Place

Starlite

3175 India Street, San Diego

He first gives me the backstory. “This cocktail was originally created by our first bar manager, 14 or 15 years ago. And we were able to get this Swedish aquavit… And then all of a sudden, we weren’t able to get [that brand] anymore, and it just was never the same.” That was until they encountered Batch 22, a new American aquavit made locally. “Every now and then, you come across something that’s just perfect, a showstopper… you know you can make a great drink, if you have the foundation for it. So once I tasted it, I knew we needed to revive The Stockholm cocktail.”

With a fresh lead on a hard-to-find spirit, Reynolds was able to bring the recipe back — with one notable tweak. “We used to use egg whites, but now we use aquafaba, which is a vegan-friendly ingredient. It’s basically the juice that surrounds garbanzo beans in a can. It can be any bean — but apparently, garbanzo beans are more widely used.”

This addition gives the drink a silky-smooth mouthfeel. “Aquafaba is wonderful. We actually use it in some of our dressings on salads… It gives you that nice, viscous texture.” He thinks this also helps the cocktail to go hand-in-hand with food, particularly the chickpea battered greens appetizer, which he recommends with a chef’s kiss, saying, “It’s awesome, so good.”

A splash of lemon juice and simple syrup complete this straightforward cocktail. “We want our drinks to be simple. We want to showcase the spirit. We want you to taste the nuance of the aquavit,” says Reynolds. “Batch 22 uses a list of spices. I get coriander, cardamom… it’s almost like an infused vodka, essentially. The lemon and the simple syrup soften [the spirit] a bit, but it’s still very well-balanced, easy to drink, with a nice feeling to it.” Summing up the refreshing and quaffable cocktail, Reynolds adds “It’s sweet, it’s sour, it’s creamy, just everything at once.”

  • Starlite’s
  • The Stockholm
  • 2 oz Batch 22 Classic Gold New American Aquavit
  • 3/4 oz Fresh Lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz Simple Syrup
  • 1/2 oz Aquafaba
  • Combine all ingredients into a cocktail tin full of ice, vigorously shake and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
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