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Can You Believe a Chipotle Vodka?

Hangar One Vodka

The 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 and beers and ruin fine ones.

AboutDave Dewitt

Dave is known in the media as "The Pope of Peppers" because of the 36 books he's written on chile peppers and spicy food around the world. He's also co-producer of the National Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show and editor and publisher of the Fiery Foods & Barbecue SuperSite at www.fiery-foods.com. His latest book, with chile breeder Dr. Paul Bosland, is The Complete Chile Pepper Book.

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