Gina O'Brien's Simply Soy cocktail
Gina O'Brien's Simply Soy cocktail Credit: 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.

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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.