Atomix, the contemporary Korean tasting menu concept from Atoboy tag team and husband-and-wife duo Junghyun and Ellia Park, has been impressing New Yorkers since its 2018 debut. Within a sleek and sexy NoMad townhouse, the team built a space equipped with a 13-seat bar and lounge that presides over the lower-level 14-seat tasting counter.
Head bartender Jun Hyung Kwon, formerly of nearby modern Mexican eatery Cosme, helms the restaurant’s Asian-inspired libations, which include Korean ingredients and spirits like soju. One standout drink is Kwon’s Kimchi Gibson, a Korean riff on a classic Gibson.
The barman first thought to replace the pickled cocktail onion in a Gibson with a piece of radish kimchi. “But I had to figure out a Gibson recipe that would interact with the garnish,” he says.
Rather than a traditional red kimchi, he drew inspiration from dongchimi, a “winter season kimchi that’s not too briny but rather light, bittersweet and refreshing.” (The main difference between red and white kimchi is that white kimchi doesn’t have any spice or pepper added; red kimchi gets its color from the addition of red chilies.)
To balance the white kimchi’s saltiness and fermented flavor, Kwon turned to an even split of Beefeater London dry gin and sweeter Hayman’s Old Tom, plus blanc vermouth instead of the classic dry vermouth. “The cocktail needed a little more acidity and sharpness, so I decided to infuse the vermouth with cilantro,” says Kwon.
At Atoboy, white kimchi juice is a kitchen byproduct. But since most don’t stock white kimchi at home, go for store-bought kimchi. “Each brand will differ in taste, just like how different branded Bloody Mary mixes impart different flavors,” says Kwon.
1 ounce Beefeater London dry gin
1 ounce Hayman’s Old Tom gin
1/2 ounce cilantro-infused Dolin blanc vermouth*
1/2 ounce Kehoe’s Kitchen white kimchi juice
Garnish: cilantro flowers
Garnish: white radish kimchi
Add both gins, the cilantro-infused blanc vermouth and kimchi juice into a mixing glass with ice and stir for 10 to 15 seconds until well-chilled.
Strain into a chilled coupe.
Garnish with cilantro flowers and a piece of white radish kimchi on a cocktail skewer.
*Cilantro-infused Dolin blanc vermouth: Add 2 teaspoons flowering cilantro into a 750 mL bottle of Dolin blanc vermouth. Let steep for 4 days, then strain to remove the cilantro.