Cocktail Challenge: natto | Cocktail Challenge | Chicago Reader

Cocktail Challenge: natto 

Manny Sofios (Gilt Bar, Au Cheval) fights fire with fire

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The Culo Fizz

The Culo Fizz

Andrea Bauer

When Ronnie Higgins (Bangers & Lace, Bar DeVille) challenged Manny Sofios (Gilt Bar, Au Cheval) with natto, fermented soybeans, Sofios wasn't sure what to expect. The Japanese foodstuff is known for its slimy texture, but it also has an arresting aroma—"I was getting yelled at about the smell," he says. He opted to pair it with a roughly filtered sake, reasoning that "if you're going to do something gnarly like this, you might as well fight fire with fire." The drink, an otherwise traditional fizz, is named after the Spanish word for "butt."

(Recipe below slideshow.)

Who's Next:

Calling his own ingredient "pretty vile," Sofios laughed and warned that he has "something far worse for the next person." He's challenged Nahm Kim of Sunda with shrimp paste.

The Culo Fizz

2 T natto
2 oz Rock Sake Cloud
1 oz egg white
¾ oz simple syrup
1 oz lemon juice
club soda

Fill a well-chilled collins glass with club soda to about a third full. In a shaker combine the other ingredients and vigorously dry-shake to emulsify the egg. Add three ice cubes and shake some more, using a forward-and-back motion in addition to moving up and down. Double-strain, then let the mixture rest a minute or so. Slowly add it to the soda, and serve gingerly.

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