Basic Aioli (Garlic Sauce)

(sauces, eggs, garlic, olive oil)

Basic Aioli (Garlic Sauce)
Basic Aioli (Garlic Sauce)

Yield: 1 Cup


4 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped fine
2 egg yolks
⅛ tsp sea salt
1 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp cold water
1 tsp lemon juice


  1. Add the garlic and salt to the mortar bowl and grind slowly with the pestle, moving in one direction only. You can do this first step in a food processor if you'd like, then transfer the mixture back to a medium sized bowl.
  2. Whisk in the mustard, then the egg yolks. At this point you can transfer the mixture back into the mortar or use the whisk in the bowl.
  3. Now you will add in half of the oil. This must be done very slowly or the oil will not emulsify and your sauce will not thicken. Add the oil in a slow, fine stream while either whisking with a wire whisk or using your pestle.
  4. Once the first half of the oil is incorporated, then add the water and the lemon juice, whisking or stirring constantly with the pestle.
  5. Then slowly add the rest of the oil. The mixture will thicken as you continue to blend it. The mixture should be slightly thinner than commercial mayonnaise. If it becomes too thick you can add a bit more warm water, one teaspoon at a time.
  • A key to success with aioli is to work very slowly.
  • Also important is to make sure all ingredients and tools are at room temperature. Varying temperatures encourage the sauce to separate.
  • Cure for sauce that has separated: Add a single egg yolk (room temperature) to a bowl and whisk the separated aioli into it. The additional yolk will reimulsify the sauce.
Sauce Variations
  • Rosemary: Add 2 tsp of minced fresh rosemary.
  • Chipotle: Add 1 Tbsp of minced canned chipotles in adobo sauce.
  • Saffron: Add a tiny pinch of saffron threads and 1 Tbsp honey.