Fire + Ice: This icy winter cocktail brings the heat!
You know how in the winter all special seasonal cocktails end up being hot drinks? Some of us aren’t into drinking something warm. Even when I’m freezing my buns off, I just don’t find hot drinks refreshing. But I do still like to partake in special cocktails, thus, I decided to come up with a cold drink that mimics that warmth. Introducing the Winter Firecracker Cocktail!
This one requires a slight bit of forethought – the main alcoholic component is a chile-infused tequila. Don’t let the word “infused” get you nervous; this just means you soak a chile pepper in the alcohol to flavor it. I prefer a chipotle chile to give my drinks that smoky edge, but you can use any chile you like.
• 1 bottle clear tequila (fancy brand not necessary)
• 1 dried chipotle chile
• Large mason jar
• Coffee filter
1. Cut a slit lengthwise up the chile. This gives it a fresh edge for a stronger flavor. Put the chile in the mason jar.
2. Pour the entire bottle of tequila into the jar. Set the original bottle aside (don’t throw it in the recycle pile – you’ll need it later).
3. Cover the jar and let it sit 24 hours – if your heat tolerance is on the lower side, taste it earlier to see if it’s to your liking.
Tip: For the love of all things good and holy, do not let it go longer than 24 hours. Even if you are a huge heat fan, the tequila will be so hot it’s practically undrinkable, and you will not be able to taste a single other thing in a cocktail.
4. Stick the funnel in the original tequila bottle and line the funnel with the coffee filter. (This filters out any sediment that might have come from the chile.) Pour the tequila back into its original bottle. It should be a nice tan color.
Tip: Come summer, this spicy tequila plays really well in margaritas and other fruit-forward drinks too. (Even better, infused liquors in a pretty bottle make a great gift.) I assume the chipotle tequila will keep indefinitely, although I’ve never had a bottle any longer than a year.
Winter Firecracker Cocktail
• Chipotle Tequila
• I bottle hard cider
• 1 bottle ginger beer
Tip: Try to find an actual ginger beer for this recipe. Substituting ginger ale will make the cocktail really sweet and you will lose the spicy notes that give the drink its warmth. Some major brands are Bundaberg, Reed’s, Fentiman’s and Fever Tree. You can find ginger beer at most liquor stores, Cost Plus World Market, or in the artisanal soda aisle at places like Whole Foods.
1. Pour 1 oz. chipotle tequila, 3 oz. hard cider, and 2 oz. ginger beer over ice into a glass.
2. Give it all a good stir to mix, and enjoy!
Readers – do you switch to warm cocktails over the winter? Or keep it cool all year long?