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Cocktail Challenge: shrimp paste

Nahm Kim of Sunda puts an Asian twist on the manhattan

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Challenged by Gilt Bar's Manny Sofios with shrimp paste, an Asian condiment made from fermented shrimp, Sunda bartender Nahm Kim used its salty funk to accentuate the sweetness of a caramel syrup. To counter some of the fishiness, he used 130-proof Booker's bourbon for this twist on a manhattan, jokingly asking the gods' "forgiveness for tainting this beautiful whiskey."

The Frangelico rinse adds a nutty note that also helps to mask the shrimp paste, Kim noted. But then "you get this sudden burst of brininess at the back of the palate. It's pretty bad."

Who's Next:

Kim's challenged Allison Hagio of the Paramount Room with a "special ingredient": Spam.

Shoot to Krill

½ bar spoon shrimp paste
2 bar spoons caramel sauce
2 oz Booker's
½ oz Carpano Antica Formula vermouth
½ oz Ramazzotti amaro
3 dashes Angostura bitters
2 dashes Fee Brothers lemon bitters
Rinse of Frangelico hazelnut liqueur

Combine shrimp paste and caramel sauce in a shaker and mix well. Add Booker's, vermouth, amaro, and bitters. Stir well. Pour just enough Frangelico to cover the bottom of a snifter and swirl to coat the glass. Strain the contents of the shaker into the snifter and serve.

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