Sauce Packet Cocktails
Looking to use up those extra takeout and delivery food sauce packets populating your kitchen drawers, lingering dangerously at the bottom of your purse, or piling up in the office kitchen? From soy sauce to duck sauce, hot mustard to hot sauce, it’s time to get creative with your leftover liquid seasonings. How? By mixing up a drink. Four bartenders from around the country tell us how they would mix these to-go staples in a cocktail.
Courtesy Morgan Weber, co-owner/beverage director, Eight Row Flint, Houston
“More times than not, sweeter drinks can benefit from small additions of salt, to help balance and bring out the flavors in a more profound way,” says Morgan Weber, co-owner/beverage director of Eight Row Flint in Houston. He adds two dashes of soy sauce to this mule variation, which he calls “deceptively simple” and “extremely satisfying.” One soy sauce packet will make about three cocktails.
- 2 ounces Hibiki Harmony or 100-proof Bourbon
- ½ ounce fresh lime juice
- ½ ounce Lime Leaf Oleo (recipe below)
- 2 ounces Goya ginger beer
- 1 ounce Topo Chico mineral water
- 2 dashes Kikkoman soy sauce
- Lime wheel (for garnish)
Add all ingredients to a Collins glass filled with crushed ice. Stir gently, and garnish with a lime wheel.
- 2 cups sugar
- 12 julienned lime leaves
In a medium saucepan, combine ingredients with 1 cup water and bring to boil. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Strain out leaves. Oleo can be stored in refrigerator up to 3 months.
Courtesy Ezra Star, general manager, Drink, Boston
Ezra Star was inspired to make her spicy mustard cocktail by one of her favorite childhood snacks. “I was kind of a bizarre kid and loved to put mustard on oranges,” says Star, general manager at Drink in Boston. “My favorite way to use orange is with Tequila, so it seemed like a perfect pairing.”
- 1½ ounces blanco Tequila
- ½ ounce fresh lime juice
- ¾ ounce grenadine
- 1 ounce orange juice
- ¼ ounce Panda Mustard, or other hot mustard
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake, and strain into a chilled coupe glass.
Courtesy Casey Robison, beverage director, Heavy Restaurant Group, Seattle
Here’s one more use for a packet of Cholula hot sauce: to accent a bright green sip from Casey Robison, beverage director of Heavy Restaurant Group in Seattle.
“Being a big fan of Cholula hot sauce, and a big fan of mezcal, I figured they would go well together,” says Robison. “The cilantro, citrus and cucumber balance out the heat and viscosity of the hot sauce nicely. It’s perfect for a warm summer day.”
- 3 slices cucumber
- 2 small cilantro sprigs
- ¼ ounce agave syrup (one part water, one part agave nectar)
- 1½ ounces Nuestra Soledad Mezcal
- ½ ounce lemon juice
- ¼ ounce Cholula hot sauce
- Cilantro sprig (for garnish)
Muddle cucumber and cilantro sprigs in a cocktail shaker. Add remaining ingredients to shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and fine-strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a small cilantro sprig.
Courtesy Jesse Card, general manager, Bit House Saloon, Portland, Oregon
How often do you actually use the peachy-colored sauce packets from Chinese takeout? This recipe, from Jesse Card, general manager of Bit House Saloon in Portland, Oregon, goes “full tiki-style,” with about a packet of duck sauce per cocktail. It will give you plenty of reason to use every last one.
“I love the way that pineapple and ginger are natural complements to the duck sauce,” says Card. “But the big caraway and anise notes from the aquavit really carry the drink in a whole new direction. I named it after my favorite combo plate at my local Chinese haunt.”
- 1½ ounces Krogstad Aquavit
- 3 teaspoons WY duck sauce
- 1 ounce fresh pineapple juice
- ¼ ounces honey syrup
- 1 dash Angostura Bitters
- 1 dash Peychaud’s Bitters
- 1½ ounces ginger beer
- Fortune cookie (for garnish)
Add all ingredients, except ginger beer, to a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake hard for 10 seconds, and strain into a double old-fashioned glass filled with crushed ice. Top with ginger beer. Add more crushed ice to form cone. Garnish with a fortune cookie.
- 1Soy Sauce | The C.A. Nimitz Buck
- 2Chinese Hot Mustard | The Happy Panda
- 3Hot Sauce | Bebida y Picante
- 4Duck Sauce | Special Combo #3