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Carl Moberg of Webster’s Wine Bar, challenged by the Franklin Room‘s Peter Kim to create a cocktail with doenjang, describes it as “kind of misoesque, but not.” Like miso, the Korean condiment is made from fermented soybeans, but doenjang is chunkier in texture and more assertive in flavor than its Japanese cousin. Moberg describes it as “salty, a little bit mushroomy . . . it kind of vaguely has a chocolatey element on the nose, and then a mild fermented funk on the back end.”

Moberg had no trouble locating several varieties of doenjang at Joong Boo Market, but differentiating among them was difficult since nearly all the writing on the labels was in Korean. “I went for the one that was ‘premium,'” he says.

His first idea was to use the soybean paste in a riff on a dirty martini, which didn’t work particularly well. “It was really aggressive—it just basically tasted like salty gin.” Next he turned to the sherry flip, a classic cocktail, hoping that “the cream and the egg would help balance out the salty fermented quality of the doenjang.”

The flip wasn’t bad, Moberg says, though he might prefer it without the doenjang. Still, he says, “I think it worked out pretty well, given that it’s soybean paste in a cocktail.”

Who’s next:

Moberg has challenged Adam Staniszeski of Union Sushi & Barbecue Bar to create a cocktail with pickled herring.

Korean Sherry Flip
1 whole egg
2 oz Colosia oloroso sherry
.5 oz Smith & Cross Navy Strength Rum
.5 oz simple syrup
.5 oz half-and-half
.5 teaspoon doenjang

Add all ingredients to a shaker and dry shake. Add ice, shake again. Grate nutmeg over the top.