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5 Oyster Mignonette Recipes You’ll Love by Lady Oyster

5 Oyster Mignonette Recipes You’ll Love by Lady Oyster

Everyone knows that oysters in autumn are like peaches in summer. They’re the sweetest, creamiest morsels that are farmed to perfection after “Harvest Moon,” that moment in the season where the moon shines so bright, it aids farmers with a little extra light for yielding summer crops. Oysters feel the waters cooling in anticipation of winter, and gobble up algae like there’s no tomorrow, which results in a lot of glycogen storage and chubby bellies.

Maine’s Harvest on the Harbor Oyster Fest is an ode to the season and the thriving oyster aquaculture industry that Maine possesses. Maine’s coastline cultivates some of the most succulent bivalves found in raw bars nationwide, and the industry continues thrive with the support of the State and its pathway to grants and leases in their plentiful, brackish estuaries.

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Over 500 oyster lovers flocked to Portland’s Harvest on the Harbor in October 2021, where you could find me with a little push cart and a handful of round dropper bottles with colorful liquids inside. Mignonettes; mignonettes galore scooted around amongst the tables of freshly shucked oysters on ice, waiting to drip accoutrements on top of bivalves for the adventurous slurpers. The goal was to teach oyster lovers about complimentary flavors that enhance an oyster’s natural merroir, and to demonstrate the proper serving size (i.e., just a few drips).

I took attendees on a journey from a traditional mignonette to herbal flavors, to spicy infusions and alcoholic pairings. Oysters are a canvas for delivering flavors and textures that balance their briny and earthy characteristics. Many attendees who enjoyed the experience asked me about the recipes, so I’ve provided each of them below. The goal was to create mignonettes with ingredients that most people could find in their kitchen, in hopes that this inspired a lot of fun shucking at home!

I hope you thoroughly enjoy exploring these flavors with your next round of half shell!

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1. The Parisian: Champagne Lemon Mignonette

Prepare for a crisp morning walk through Paris. We have combined two of the most common oyster accoutrements in France: lemon and champagne. Taking great care to its portion, lemon is purest way to garnish the briny characteristics of an oyster. Lemon’s zesty aromatics fill the air and prepare your senses for the slurp. Just a small drip awakens the palate. Add in a little champagne, and your tastebuds begin to dance. Shallot, red wine vinegar, and a little pepper add balance to this vivacious blend.


  • Juice of half a lemon

  • 1/2 cup champagne

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

  • 1/2 small shallot, minced

  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground white pepper

 Mix all ingredients into a bowl and refrigerate overnight for optimal flavor. Drip over an oyster.

2. The Vaquero: Spicy Pepper Mignonette

You’re a daring soul who loves a challenge. Heat on an oyster hits both the front and back of your mouth like a horse rearing and bucking. In this winning combination, jalapeño, ginger, garlic, and cilantro pungently infuse with the oyster’s brackish liquor, and envelope the oyster’s body. In one forceful combination, you receive an intensity of earth, water, and fire in a bite. Served best on a meaty oyster with sweet, creamy undertones, a balanced kick will become a spicy addiction.


  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 2 fresh whole jalapeños

  • 1 inch of ginger

  • 1 clove garlic

  • Juice of 1 large lime

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander

  • 2 tablespoons of an added favorite hot sauce (preferably on the sweeter side)

  • A pinch of salt to taste

Throw all ingredients into a blender and liquefy. Strain through a coffee filter into a bowl to remove pulp. Slice large chunks of a jalapeño and throw into the bowl of the strained spice. Let marinate overnight. Dash sparingly on an oyster.

3. The Stella: Italian Herb Oil

Imagine yourself on a balcony overlooking the beautiful Amalfi Coast in Italy. The salty air from the Gulf and the smells of a Neapolitan margherita waft up the cliffs to meet your nose. Herbal flavors of basil, oregano, and garlic have an enhancing effect on the deep, algal flavors of a Maine oyster. Extra virgin olive oil refines the oyster’s textures, adds seductive and sensuous aromas, and awakens the tastebuds to an earthy experience.


  • 1 cup of basil leaves

  • 2 teaspoons of oregano

  • 3 cloves of garlic

  • ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil

  • Add salt to taste

Throw all ingredients into a blender and liquefy. Drizzle over an oyster.

4. Madame Old Fashioned

This is a libation for both the traditionalist and the trailblazer. An Old Fashioned infusion with a hint of cherry is a nod to both the basement speakeasy and the oyster’s past licentious reputation. The combination of flavors represents the best that Autumn has to offer – the warmth of Bourbon, the bitterness of botanicals, and the syrupy richness of cherry.  A perfect topper on a chubby oyster. It is sure to provide a little warmth on a cold Maine day.


  • 3 ounces of Bulleit Bourbon

  • 1 teaspoon of Luxardo cherry syrup

  • 3 dashes of Angostura bitters

Stir ingredients together over ice and strain. Drip over an oyster and “dispose” of the rest responsibly (hint, hint).

5. The Tree Hugger

Embark on a mountain journey into Betulaceae from Vermont’s Upper Valley. This rare fermentation is derived from Birch trees. Fable Farm’s team dissolved raw honey from Mcfarline Apiaries of Benson, VT, into the natural birch water, as well as whole clusters of foraged sumac berries into the fermentation. The end result? A sparkling dry wine with earthy notes and a robust acidity, proving itself worthy in the marriage of neighborly terroir and merroir.


Drip atop an oyster for tart, earthy explosions. Drink the rest on the side.

Editor’s Note: Many thanks to Justin of Tide to Pine for the beautiful photographs captured at the event!

Image from Tide to Pine: