Cocktail Challenge: Cod milt | Cocktail Challenge | Chicago Reader

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Cocktail Challenge: Cod milt

Blackbird's Mary Rose Braun dresses up a briny delicacy.


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Caviar and other types of fish roe are considered luxury foods, so why not dress up cod milt, the male fish's sperm sac (semen included)? Challenged with the stuff by Red Door's Jay Schroeder, Blackbird bartender Mary Rose Braun based her elegant layered cocktail on pisco, garnishing it with boba pearls—tapioca balls of the type used in bubble tea—soaked overnight in aged rum. "It's almost like how you would imagine an oyster shooter," she said of the finished drink. "Just a little more fishy."

(Recipe below slideshow)

Pearl's Neck Brace

1 1/2 oz Campo de Encanto pisco

1/2 oz milt, pureed and strained

1/4 oz lemon juice

1/4 oz simple syrup

Dash of orange bitters

Stout syrup (stout cooked down with a bit of sugar till thickened)

Rum-soaked boba pearls

Pour some stout syrup into the bottom of a small cocktail coupe. Fill the tin of a shaker with the lemon juice, milt puree, pisco, simple syrup, and a dash of orange bitters. Shake with ice, then strain over the stout syrup, pouring slowly so that the syrup and the liquid remain layered. Garnish with rum-soaked boba pearls.

Who's Next

Braun has challenged Balena bartender Natalia Cardenas with the homely lentil.

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