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5 from 1 vote

Aioli is not garlic mixed into mayonnaise... Instead, this is how you properly emulsify garlic paste with olive oil to create the most garlicky aioli you'll have ever eaten!

Written By Brad Archer


I get so disappointed when someone says they’ve made aioli only to find they’ve stirred garlic into a jar of mayonnaise. This is not aioli. Proper, traditional, French (and particularly stinky) aioli is simply garlic emulsified with oil. And that’s what my recipe is.

Pot of aioli

I don’t like to get uppity when it comes to food. I tend not to follow traditions and don’t care if a recipe is authentic or not. But when proper aioli is tarnished, I get frustrated. The proper stuff is so delicious I want to bring it to the fore.

Not only is this loaded with garlic but when made in the proper way, it’s completely vegan-friendly too!

What’s In Aioli?

What’s impressive is that you go from having nothing to having freshly made aioli that will blow your socks off with just 4 basic ingredients that I’m pretty sure you’ll have in your kitchen (and one of them is not raw eggs).

Ingredients to make aioli
  • 5 Garlic Cloves: Although this sauce is punchy, you don’t need that much fresh garlic. A little goes a long way. 5 cloves of garlic is ample.
  • Salt: Salt not only seasons the aioli but also helps to break the garlic down in the pestle and mortar. It gives something for the garlic to grind against.
  • 1tsp Lemon Juice: Lemon juice will help to balance out some of the harshness of the garlic. It doesn’t cook it but will mellow it slightly.
  • 120ml Olive Oil: Olive oil is what you emulsify the garlic into much like you would with eggs and oil in a mayonnaise.

Substitutes and Tweaks

Try using flavoured salts to add a subtle flavour to the aioli. I personally love smoked foods, so I have made this with smoked salt.

Once you have made your aioli, consider stirring through fresh herbs such as parsley, dill, chervil or fresh oregano.

Make this aioli even more decadent by adding in a few drops of truffle oil in place of the olive oil.

I love a bit of heat in my food so have added a pinch of cayenne pepper into the mix to add a subtle warming heat.

How to Make Aioli

Step 1: Making aioli is a labour of love. Put the food processor or immersion blender away. You want to use a pestle and mortar for this so you can really break the garlic down.

Pop the raw garlic into the mortar with a pinch of salt and then grind away until you have a thick garlic paste with a creamy texture.

Preparing garlic and salt in a pestle and mortar

Step 2: Add lemon juice to the paste and then give it another quick stir with the pestle to ensure the lemon juice is fully mixed in.

Adding lemon juice

Step 3: Add a little oil then mix to an emulsion. This will get the emulsifying process started. It can take a little work. You want to ensure the oil isn’t sitting separate to the garlic paste. It should come together as one cohesive mix.

Add oil

Step 4: Continue to drizzle olive oil slowly into the mortar as you continually mix into an emulsion. If you pour it all in at once, you’ll struggle to bring your aioli together.

At this point, give it a quick taste and adjust it with a little extra salt or a pinch of black pepper then enjoy at room temperature.

Drizzling oil into mortar for aioli


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Course: SidesCuisine: FrenchDifficulty: Medium


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This recipe is fiery! In fact, you’ll probably never have experienced garlic quite like it.


  • 5 5 Garlic Cloves, Peeled and Sliced

  • Salt

  • 1tsp 1tsp Lemon Juice

  • 120ml 120ml Olive Oil


  • Pop the garlic into a mortar along with a pinch of salt. The salt will help to break down the garlic, giving it something abrasive to rub against while also seasoning the garlic.
  • Mash the garlic and salt with the pestle until you have a smooth garlic paste. This will take around 4 minutes before adding in your lemon juice, mixing it in with the pestle.
  • Add a drizzle of olive oil to the paste, stir and pound using the pestle until the oil has completely incorporated into the garlic. You’re creating an emulsion as you would when making mayonnaise but, instead of egg, you’re using garlic.
  • Continue to add a drizzle of olive oil slowly, ensuring you incorporate the oil into the mix before adding any more. Continue to pound the paste until it is at your desired consistency. If it is a little thick then you can add a drop of water to loosen it a little.

Recipe Video

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