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Dave's Fiery Front Page

Exploring the World of Spice and Smoke
Tags >> spicy drinks

At Last, a Chipotle Vodka!

Posted by: Dave DeWitt

Tagged in: spicy drinks , smoking , chile peppers , alcohol

 

Hangar One VodkaThe fine folks at Hangar One Vodka sent me a bottle of their new vodka, so I had to give it a try.  I pulled it out of the freezer (see ice crystals, left), poured a little into a shot glass, and sipped it.  Big flavor!  Then the heat, which was medium hot.  Very nice.  Then the smokiness hit, and it really worked.  Then the crucial test, a Bloody Mary.  Tomato juice, Hangar One, a little lime juice, a touch of Worcestershire sauce over ice, stirred, not shaken.  Delicious—even my non-Bloody-Mary-drinking wife Mary Jane liked it—but because of the dilution of the vodka, not quite hot enough.  A few dashes of hot sauce solved that and I wondered: how is this made?  The back label provided the answer by Master Distiller Lance Winters: "We're blending infusions and distillations of beautifully roasted chipotle peppers, green jalapeños, red bells, and Scoville-scorching habaneros.  Each pepper was smoked by my friends at T-Rex Barbecue in Berkeley, California."  In my humble opinion, this is a wonderful, spiced up vodka, and again proves my long held belief: vodka is the only alcoholic beverage that works with chile peppers.  Chiles do not improve mediocre wines or beers, and ruin fine ones.

 


Dave with Flaming HabaneroThe 23rd annual show, beloved by foodies in the Southwest and elsewhere, takes place at the lovely Sandia Resort and Casino at the Tramway exit of I-25 north of Albuquerque.  For the fifth year in a row, the show is sold out of exhibitor space.  This year, we have a record number of trade buyers attending, and will feature the following highlights.

 

 


Burn! Masthead


The launch of Burn! digital monthly magazine.
  Get your free first copy at the Burn! booth, number 417.

Disc-It UnitThe Great Disc-It Giveaway.  Nevin of Disc-It made 3 fiery foods themed Disc-Its, and you can register at their booths, 107 & 109.

Pace LogoThe Pace Chef's Challenge, featuring three Albuquerque chefs vying for the "best dish made with a Pace brand of salsa."  It happens at 2 pm each day in the rotunda area at the east end of the main lobby.



Eat More Heat LogoEat More Heat Live.  Broadcasting live from the show on Stickam.com during show hours Saturday and Sunday.  Next the the El Pinto booth in the main lobby.

1001 CoverBook Signings.
  I'll be signing copies of my three latest books in the Rio Grande Books booth (315), each day at 3pm.

The doors open to the general public at 4 pm Friday.  See you at the show!  Complete show information is here.


Cactus Christmas TreeHere at the SuperSite, we have assembled a tasty array of holiday articles and recipes from many of our writers.  Chile peppers are a common theme and appear in Christmas recipes around the world, from snacks to desserts. Here is a brief overview.

 

Chile WreathRed and Green For the Holidays. Mistletoe and holly are endangered species around here—everywhere we look in the Southwest, the traditional red and green decorations of the holiday season are dominated by the very same colors of New Mexico’s powerful state vegetable, the chile pepper. The abundance of chile gift items boosts the pungent pod to primary status as a New Mexico Christmas symbol.

A Chile PiñataA Chile-Blessed Christmas Around the World. New Mexico is not the only place where the pungent pod plays a roll in holiday fare.  In many countries where Christmas is celebrated, chiles are an integral ingredient in traditional holiday foods.

Deep-Fried Cajun TurkeyDeep-Fried Cajun Turkey for Christmas. Despite the three-day process, it’s well worth the effort to cook turkey this way. Created in the South, this method of cooking a turkey is gaining popularity all across the country. This process produces a succulent turkey and if the oil is at the correct temperature, a crisp, not greasy skin.

It's a Party!Sizzling Snacks for Holiday Entertaining. Ah, the holidays…when friends can drop in unexpectedly and expect to be fed. Don’t be caught unprepared! Here in New Mexico, a really great party always contains some spicy munchies. Chile peppers can be found in every course, from drinks and appetizers to entrees and even dessert.

Old Town FarolitosChristmas Eve Dishes from New Mexico. Christmas Eve in New Mexico is a very special night steeped in tradition and probably no other image symbolizes the season more than the flickering lights from the brown paper bags, called luminarias or farolitos, that line the walkways and outline buildings and houses throughout the state.

Holiday FeastA Multi-Cultural Holiday Feast.  It's the time of year that friends and family gather to enjoy each other's company, to reflect on the year that is passing, make resolutions for the upcoming one, and hopefully, eat way too much hot and spicy food and barbecue. The celebrations seem to be non-stop for the entire month. Ever wonder why there are so many in December?

Spicy TiramisuHeavenly Holiday Treats: Desserts with a Tangy Twist.  As a devout chilehead, I constantly look for a little bit of heat in my food.  I've found my favorite recipes for fiery appetizers, sizzling soups, and exciting entrees.  The only category that I was disappointed with was desserts.  As rich, creamy, and decadent as desserts can be, there was something missing: a little spice, a little zing, a little heat. That's what I was searching for.

Sauza SignSpicy Drinks for New Year's.  Many people compose their New Year's Resolutions at this time of the year, but I prefer New Year's Revolutions: hot and spicy drinks to celebrate in a toast to the coming year, which I vow to make the best year of my life.  Yes, yes, I've been known to be infected with PMA: Positive Mental Attitude.  Salud!


Ghost Face Killah Beer

Why brew a beer so hot that it melts taste buds and brings tears to drinkers’ eyes? To do something different. In a world full of pilsners, pale ales and porters, thinking a little outside of the box keeps things exciting at Twisted Pine Brewery. “Ghost Face Killah” ghost chile beer packs the heat of six different chiles, including anaheim (New Mexican), fresno, jalapeño, serrano, habanero and the infamous ghost chile (Bhut Jolokia). The beer will be released at the Snowmass Chili and Beer Festival, June 4-5.

At a staggering 1,000,000 Scoville heat units, the ghost chile pepper is twice as hot as the nearest Red Savina pepper.  This has earned the Bhut Jolokia certification as the hottest chile pepper in the world by the Guiness World Records.

Based in Boulder, Colorado, Twisted Pine Brewing Company has been handcrafting beer since 1995. Read more about their other unique brews here.



Horseradish VodkaHere in New York, the temperature has taken a nosedive for the winter, which makes me wonder, is that why I'm seeing so many scorching hot cocktails around town these days? As a major hub of mixology, I’ve noticed that Manhattan’s finest bartenders have been flirting with habanero-infused vodkas, rare chiles and even hot-sauce in their newest cocktail concoctions. These peppery tipples have been popping up on diverse drink menus around the city. I think I’ve spotted a hot trend.


At Mari Vanna, the gorgeous NYC outpost of the chic Moscow-based dinner club, more than 15 vodkas are infusing behind the bar at any given time, including a scorching hot pepper vodka along with a sinus-clearing horseradish infused vodka (pictured above). "We infuse Mari Vanna's pepper vodka with a ton of red jalapeño peppers and the horseradish vodka with a bunch of sliced horseradish roots.  The ingredients sit in the jar of vodka for seven days to really soak up the flavor.  One sip of either of these spicy infusions, but particularly the pepper one, and any cold or flu should be wiped away!  It'll clear you right up," said Tatiana Brunetti, owner of Mari Vanna.


Could super-spicy infused vodka cocktails kill the common cold? I pondered this very question over a Piquant Bloody Mary at Brooklyn’s newest Southwestern-themed restaurant, Piquant. Made with house-infused orange habenero vodka, tomato juice, cilantro, horseradish, fresh lime juice and plenty of hot sauce, this slow-burning bloody managed to spice up my brunch routine. I'm not sure if it managed to kill any viruses I may have been harboring, however.

Piquant Bloody Mary


At La Esquina, the no longer ‘secret’ Mexican speakeasy-style eatery, a shockingly refreshing, beer based cocktail has appeared on the menu. Called the Michelada, this chill drink is made with Mexican beer and chipotle puree, served over ice with a dash of lime and a salted rim—adding a subtle kick to your refreshing pint.


Bar PleiadesEven some of Manhattan’s most upscale hotels—including the Surrey—have a spicy cocktail to offer. Bar Pleiades (pictured), a luxe black and white lounge located on the ground floor of the recently refurbished hotel, offers a spicy/sweet cocktail called the Southern Fashion created by Canadian mixologist Cameron Bogue. The Southern Fashion is “a bourbon based drink that I infuse with Espelette, a chile from the northern Basque region in France [that] is a favorite to many chefs as it packs quite a bit of flavor without being too hot,” noted the passionate-about-peppers Bogue. Whether you like a little, or a lot, of heat, super-spicy cocktails are sure to warm up imbibers this winter. Cheers!



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