"Spam!?" wrote Allison Hagio, challenged by Nahm Kim of Sunda with the precooked meat product immortalized by a Monty Python skit. Unfazed, Hagio, a bartender at the Paramount Room, grilled the stuff with fruit and used the rendered fat and liquid in a reduction she calls "OO Spam juice"—"OO" for the Old Overholt rye she added to it along with maple syrup. Also in her arsenal: 23-year-old aged Ron Zacapa rum, Luxardo cherry liqueur, and Tajín seasoning.
Hagio's challenged Luis Rodriguez of Carnivale with caraway seeds.
(Recipe below slideshow.)
1½ oz Ron Zacapa Centenario 23 rum
¾ oz Luxardo cherry liqueur
¾ oz lime juice
½ oz OO Spam juice
2 dashes Fee Brothers rhubarb bitters
Pour the lime juice, rum, cherry liqueur, and Spam juice into a mixing glass. Add bitters, stir slightly, and add ice. Cap and shake well. Strain into a glass rimmed with lime or a swipe of grilled fruit and Tajín seasoning.
"You can smell the Spam, right?" said Hagio. "And look, there's the fat, coming up the sides."