Hoisin sauce—usually made with fermented soybeans, garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil—is sweet, salty, and viscous. It’s commonly used in Chinese cuisine, rarely used in alcoholic drinks. But when Sam Ruppert (DryHop Brewers) challenged Adrienne Stoner of Lost Lake to create a cocktail with the sauce, she had a supply at the ready. The menu at Lost Lake is Asian inspired, and chef Fred Noinaj makes hoisin sauce in-house to accompany a duck dish.
Stoner not only used Noinaj’s hoisin sauce, she also named the cocktail after him. “He doesn’t like to be called chef, so I call him the Sauce Boss,” she says. “The drink is called the Oui Chef Sauce Boss Swizzle.” It took a little work to perfect: Stoner had originally planned to pair it with coconut, but says the first cocktail she made, using a hefty dose of coconut milk, was disgusting. “I think the richness of the coconut was overpowering, and hoisin is already mouth coating. I had to use more refreshing flavors instead,” she says. “I decided to go citrus forward and use it in a swizzle.”
The savory aspects of the ingredient also presented some challenges. “You do have to fight with the vinegar and the garlic a little bit because they’re very fragrant,” Stoner says. She chose Citadelle gin for its high proof, which she says cuts the sweetness and heaviness of the hoisin sauce, and a smoky mezcal to complement the flavor of the sauce. Pedro Ximénez sherry added nuttiness, while falernum and pomegranate are common tiki ingredients. Also very tiki were the elaborate garnishes: a pineapple leaf, an orchid, an orange peel and cherries decoratively skewered on a paper umbrella, and of course a brightly colored bendy straw.
“I’ve been making tiki drinks for like six years, so it’s kind of my default at this point,” Stoner says. “I guess I don’t really remember how to make other drinks anymore.”
Stoner has challenged Elizabeth Mickiewicz of EZ Inn to create a cocktail with Lonesome Rose queso dip.
Oui Chef Sauce Boss Swizzle
1 oz Citadelle gin
1 oz Peloton de la Muerte mezcal
.25 oz John D. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum
.25 oz Lustau Pedro Ximénez sherry
.25 oz pomegranate syrup
.75 oz lime
One barspoon hoisin sauce
A few dashes Bitterman’s Hellfire Habanero Shrub
Combine all ingredients except peanut in a tall glass and stir together. Add crushed ice and swizzle. Garnish with grated peanut.