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The Nicolaki

The Nicolaki

Jeff Faile
If you aren’t keen on raw egg whites in your artisanal cocktail, Greek yogurt may be your new must-have ingredient. We were introduced to the concept by Washington, D.C.’s Neighborhood Restaurant Group bar and spirits director Jeff Faile. He uses homemade Greek yogurt in the Iron Gate restaurant’s “Nicolaki,” a Mediterranean-inspired cocktail flavored with rosemary and honey. The yogurt brings the same frothy element to the cocktail that egg whites would, and “there’s a nice tartness to the yogurt that comes through,” Faile says. Cool, creamy, slightly tangy? Sounds like just what we need on a blistering summer day.


  • ounces Boyd & Blair potato vodka
  • 1 ounce Honey Syrup clover honey and water; see note*
  • ½ ounce lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Greek yogurt
  • 10 to 15 rosemary needles or blueberries


  • Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, and shake. Double-strain liquid into a cocktail glass, and serve. For a summertime twist, substitute blueberries for the rosemary needles.


*Honey Syrup: In a small saucepan set over low heat, combine equal parts clover honey and water. Heat, stirring, until honey dissolves. Cool to room temperature and store in the refrigerator for up to four weeks.

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