Gin Kimchi Cocktail Recipe

Gin Kimchi Cocktail Recipe
Staff Writer
Gin Kimchi Cocktail

Sara Remington

Gin Kimchi Cocktail

Kimchi (pickled and fermented vegetables served with Korean food) has always scared me. The flavor can be intensely pungent and the texture rather slippery. Some of the cooks in the Cyrus kitchen were pickling radishes one day, and the smell caught me off guard. At first I thought they were making kimchi, but they explained that pickled radishes, while not true kimchi, throw off an intense smell reminiscent of fermented vegetation. while the radishes smelled almost offensive, they tasted delicious. I wondered if the strong aroma and flavor might work well in a cocktail in the same way that musk is a nice undertone in cologne. This was the tasty result. 

Adapted from "Artisanal Cocktails" by Scott Beattie.


For the ginger-shiso syrup:

  • 1 cup simple syrup, chilled
  • 2 drops essential oil of ginger
  • 2 drops essential oil of galangal
  • 1 drop essential oil of perilla (shiso)

For the cocktail:

  • 1 ½ ounces gin, preferably Sarticious
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ ounce ginger-shiso syrup, see above
  • 8 pieces pickled ginger
  • 8 pieces pickled daikon
  • 5 small shiso leaves, cut into chiffonade
  • Ice
  • ¾ ounce ginger beer, preferably Bundaberg or Cock 'n Bull


For the ginger-shiso syrup:

Combine the simple syrup and essential oils in an airtight container. Cover and shake well to mix the oils into the syrup. The simple syrup will keep for about two weeks refrigerated in the airtight container.

For the cocktail:

Combine the gin, juice, and syrup in a mixing glass and give it a stir. Add the pickled vegetables, shiso, and enough ice to fill the mixing glass. 

Cover and shake a few times. Add the ginger beer, and pour it into a stemmed water glass or a tall collins glass to serve.

Kimchi Shopping Tip

Staples of Asian cuisine such as ginger, daikon, rice vinegar, and spicy chile sauces like Sriracha add bright, fresh flavors without lots of fuss.

Kimchi Cooking Tip

Sriracha has good heat but also has flavor - its mild sweetness comes from sun-ripened chili peppers as well as sugar and garlic.