Cocktail Challenge: kombu | Cocktail Challenge | Chicago Reader

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Cocktail Challenge: kombu

Boka group mixologist Benjamin Schiller crafts a three-way seaweed drink


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Sable head bartender Mike Ryan challenged Boka group mixologist Benjamin Schiller --who's currently at GT Fish & Oyster, reviewed by Mike Sula this week here--with fresh kombu, or seaweed. Schiller used it three ways.

Three if by Sea

1.5 oz Bols Genever

.5 oz Dassai Junmai Daiginjo Sake

.375 oz kombu fluid

.25 oz simple syrup

.75 oz lime juice

1 egg white

1 kombu ice cube

dried and minced kombu

cucumber slice

For the kombu fluid:

Rinse 16 oz of kombu under cold water and soak in water overnight. After the kombu's been soaked, take it out of the water and add 1 oz dark soy sauce, 3 oz sesame oil, and 1 T sugar; blend until smooth. Once blended, pass through a chinois, then bottle.

For the kombu ice:

Take the water the kombu was soaked in, strain it through cheesecloth, and pour into two-inch pastry molds. Freeze overnight, and use as needed.

For the kombu garnish:

Place approximately 8 oz of kombu onto a sheet pan and bake in a 400-degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and mince.

Combine the first six ingredients in a shaker and shake without ice. Then add ice, shake, and strain the mixture into a rocks glass with the kombu cube. Garnish with the dried and minced kombu and a cucumber slice.

Next up is Sepia mixologist Josh Pearson, challenged with propolis, an aromatic resin used by bees as a sealant for small gaps in the hive.

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