Matt Moore, Southern Eats & Drinks Expert
Only eat them in months that contain an “R”—that’s the rule I was taught since I can remember when it came time to consume oysters. But I do not like rules. However, I do love oysters.
This old-school mentality was usually used to reference and remember the season, September through April, when oysters were safest to eat and mainly in the days when they were harvested in the wild. During these months, the cooler temperatures make these months more safe, than say the hot summer months, to procure, keep, and serve these delicious gems. But taste was also a factor because the summer tends to be spawning season for oysters, and their flavor during this period is less than peak.
Nowadays, one doesn’t have to worry about such hard and fast rules—oysters can be enjoyed nearly year round, especially in an Oyster Shooter with Dixie Black Pepper Vodka.
Because there are more standards, accountability, breeds, and farms located in colder waters, eating oysters any time of year is not only attenable, but encouraged. Yes, sometimes there are risks involved (I’ve been on the losing side of the bad oyster fight a few times in my life, and let me tell you, it was not a fun few days), but their taste—briny and sweet— and meaty texture are something that’s worth the risk, in my opinion.
I’m not the only one who enjoys them either. One of the most well-known oyster lovers (and one of my favorites) was Ernest Hemingway, who famously wrote in A Moveable Feast, “As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.”
I dig everything about that quote—except for the fact that Ernest could have done better with a Dixie Oyster Shooter instead of the wine, but I’ll let it slide.
While some people prefer oysters consumed in their raw, natural state, I love them when fired over charcoal until just cooked through and chased with garlicky, buttered French bread. It’s also hard to beat an oyster that’s been broiled to perfection and topped with sharp parmesan cheese and hot sauce. But let’s be real folks, there is no wrong way to eat an oyster—so long as it’s a good oyster.
And ain’t that the truth about life in general? There’s never a wrong way, so long as there’s a good way.
Cheers to that!
Dixie Oyster Shooter
- 1 oz. Dixie Black Pepper Vodka
- 1 tsp. cocktail sauce
- Fresh oyster
- Lemon wedge for garnish
Place oyster in shot glass. Top with cocktail sauce and vodka, garnish with lemon. Shoot!