Fall in Love With Green Chile Vodka
As a rule, flavored vodkas aren’t really our thing. (What’s better than blueberry-flavored vodka? Real blueberries and vodka. You get the idea.) But once in awhile we come across a product that proves all our preconceptions wrong. Such is the case with the Green Chile Vodka, made by St. George Spirits in northern California.
This is no simple jalapeño-steeped affair. In one sip you’ll find layers of flavor that build on each other—the result of a complex process in which vodka is distilled with jalapeño, lime, and cilantro, then blended with four separate infusions of habaneros, serranos, and red and yellow bell peppers. Bright and fresh, it hits a perfect balance of sweet, spicy, and savory.
Swap it in for your next Bloody Mary, try it with a tall pour of soda and a squeeze of lime—or in one of these three cocktails.
Easy: Green on Green
With all that bright pepper flavor, adding lime is an absolute no-brainer; a bit of sugar and a big hit of club soda make it into one of the most refreshing cocktails we can imagine.
Instructions: In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 2 ounces green chile vodka, 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice, and 3/4 ounce simple syrup. Shake until well-chilled, then strain into a tall glass with fresh ice. Top with 2 ounces of soda and stir briefly. Garnish with lime wheels and add a straw.
Intermediate: Green Chile Martini
When we really love the flavor of a spirit, we try to showcase it in simple, classic ways — in the case of green chile vodka, a martini is just the ticket. To balance out the vodka’s heat, we’re using Carpano Bianco vermouth, bright and rich and sweeter than the dry vermouth we’d usually reach for with a martini. And while we’re partial to martinis garnished with a twist, rather than an olive, a single olive really does work with the chile vodka’s savory character.
Instructions: In a mixing glass with ice, combine 2 ounces green chile vodka and an ounce of Carpano Bianco vermouth. Stir until very well-chilled, then strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with an olive and a lemon twist.
Advanced: Chiles & Honey
While the chile flavor of this vodka is vibrant, it’s still restrained, such that it can integrate with other ingredients beautifully. With lemon, a little honey, and sparkling wine, it takes on the role of a French 75 with a pleasant hint of chile in the background. Delicious summer drinking.
Instructions: In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine an ounce and a half green chile vodka, half an ounce fresh lemon juice, and half an ounce honey syrup (that’s just honey cut 1:1 with hot water and stirred until dissolved). Shake until well-chilled, then strain into a flute. Top with 2 ounces of sparkling wine and garnish with a lemon wheel.