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Q&A’s Diamonds & Pearls: an intro to oysters

“Diamond” activated charcoal gives it a texture more than a flavor

Diamonds&Pearls
Diamonds&Pearls
Tony Prosper

The new-ish rooftop bar Cococabana is what lures me to the Brick Hotel in Oceanside. But the Q&A bar below is where I start things off — by trying an oyster for the very first time. Bar Manager Tony Prosper welcomes me inside and suggests the drink Diamonds & Pearls, calling it their twist on a New Orleans classic cocktail known as the Ramos Gin Fizz.

Swirling prosecco shimmers in a champagne flute topped with a raw Atlantic oyster and a candy pearl. “With the grapefruit-infused gin and the lemon juice, you’re gonna get more of a citrus flavor,” says Prosper. “Then when we add the watermelon; it’s gonna sweeten it up. And prosecco, too, is a little bit sweeter than a champagne, so they balance each other out. The charcoal gives that texture and brings it all together. It’s going to be a very light, refreshing cocktail.”

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Popularly used for detoxing, activated charcoal elevates the drink in more than one way, says Prosper. “Gives the drink that little color — or else it’d be a light pink because of the watermelon simple, and the Gin Rosa is actually pink, too. The charcoal just darkens it and gives it that glittery, shiny shimmer.” (That’s the “diamond” part of the drink’s name.) Besides the visual, “In my experience, when you have activated charcoal, what it does is give it a texture more than a flavor. Makes it more smooth. And then the citrus kind of cuts it.”

Prosper says he likes recommending this drink “because there are some people who come in who maybe aren’t big fans of oysters, or who have never had them. So this is kind of like an intro. Not only do you get the drink, but you have an oyster that comes with it — so you don’t have to buy six oysters and maybe not enjoy them. This is like: you get your cocktail, test out the oyster, and then go from there.” I find this reassuring.

Prosper swears he’s never seen anyone totally biff it with the oyster, but warns me to first eat the candy pearl before going in. “What I like to do is this: I like to shoot the oyster with my first sip,” he says. In his opinion, the citrus elements within the cocktail pair well with the seafood, and even serve as a sort of ‘mignonette’ chaser. However, he adds, “Some people like to put the oyster in the drink and just take a big gulp… some people are pretty brave.”

  • Q&A Restaurant and Oyster Bar’s
  • Diamonds & Pearls
  • 1 oz Malfy Gin Rosa
  • ½ oz watermelon simple syrup
  • ½ oz lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon activated charcoal powder
  • 1 egg white
  • Prosecco
  • Add ingredients to a shaker tin and dry shake with an egg white to create froth. Then add ice, shake again, and strain into a champagne glass. Top with prosecco. Garnish with a raw oyster and a candy pearl.
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Diamonds&Pearls
Diamonds&Pearls
Tony Prosper

The new-ish rooftop bar Cococabana is what lures me to the Brick Hotel in Oceanside. But the Q&A bar below is where I start things off — by trying an oyster for the very first time. Bar Manager Tony Prosper welcomes me inside and suggests the drink Diamonds & Pearls, calling it their twist on a New Orleans classic cocktail known as the Ramos Gin Fizz.

Swirling prosecco shimmers in a champagne flute topped with a raw Atlantic oyster and a candy pearl. “With the grapefruit-infused gin and the lemon juice, you’re gonna get more of a citrus flavor,” says Prosper. “Then when we add the watermelon; it’s gonna sweeten it up. And prosecco, too, is a little bit sweeter than a champagne, so they balance each other out. The charcoal gives that texture and brings it all together. It’s going to be a very light, refreshing cocktail.”

Sponsored
Sponsored

Popularly used for detoxing, activated charcoal elevates the drink in more than one way, says Prosper. “Gives the drink that little color — or else it’d be a light pink because of the watermelon simple, and the Gin Rosa is actually pink, too. The charcoal just darkens it and gives it that glittery, shiny shimmer.” (That’s the “diamond” part of the drink’s name.) Besides the visual, “In my experience, when you have activated charcoal, what it does is give it a texture more than a flavor. Makes it more smooth. And then the citrus kind of cuts it.”

Prosper says he likes recommending this drink “because there are some people who come in who maybe aren’t big fans of oysters, or who have never had them. So this is kind of like an intro. Not only do you get the drink, but you have an oyster that comes with it — so you don’t have to buy six oysters and maybe not enjoy them. This is like: you get your cocktail, test out the oyster, and then go from there.” I find this reassuring.

Prosper swears he’s never seen anyone totally biff it with the oyster, but warns me to first eat the candy pearl before going in. “What I like to do is this: I like to shoot the oyster with my first sip,” he says. In his opinion, the citrus elements within the cocktail pair well with the seafood, and even serve as a sort of ‘mignonette’ chaser. However, he adds, “Some people like to put the oyster in the drink and just take a big gulp… some people are pretty brave.”

  • Q&A Restaurant and Oyster Bar’s
  • Diamonds & Pearls
  • 1 oz Malfy Gin Rosa
  • ½ oz watermelon simple syrup
  • ½ oz lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon activated charcoal powder
  • 1 egg white
  • Prosecco
  • Add ingredients to a shaker tin and dry shake with an egg white to create froth. Then add ice, shake again, and strain into a champagne glass. Top with prosecco. Garnish with a raw oyster and a candy pearl.
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