Cocktail Challenge: soy sauce | Cocktail Challenge | Chicago Reader

Cocktail Challenge: soy sauce 

Rockit's Gina O'Brien keeps it simple

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Gina O'Brien's Simply Soy cocktail

Gina O'Brien's Simply Soy cocktail

Andrea Bauer

"Soy sauce?" Rockit Bar & Grill bartender Gina O'Brien asked, dismayed, after hearing her challenge from Karl Fernandez of Old Town Pour House. To counter its saltiness, she based her cocktail on a simple syrup made with low-sodium Kikkoman and sesame oil—"just a dash, since it's so potent." Her garnishes include an ice cube made with a bit of soy sauce added to the water.

Who's Next

In keeping with the Asian theme, O'Brien has challenged Monica Dim of River North's Public House with plum.

(Recipe below slideshow.)


Simply Soy

2 oz Grey Goose vodka
1/2 oz soy-sesame simple syrup* Squeeze of lemon
2 dashes chocolate bitters
1/4 tsp grated ginger
Toasted sesame seeds and sugar, candied ginger, and a soy-sauce ice cube for garnish

*Two parts water to one part low-sodium soy sauce with a dash of sesame oil

Rim a rocks glass with a slice of lemon and dip in a mix of toasted sesame seeds and sugar. Combine the first five ingredients in a shaker, add ice, and shake. Strain into the prepared glass and add a soy-sauce ice cube. Garnish with a slice of candied ginger.

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