Whenever we drive through New Mexico we try to stop off in the little village of Hatch, just off I-25. It calls itself the chile capital of the world, with an annual Chile Festival and field after field of chiles growing around in the Hatch Valley. It’s most famous for the Hatch Green Chile, and if we don’t buy some in the several stores that sell them, we definitely have a Hatch green chile burger. Sparky’s is the famous restaurant, but after several visits there we’ve yet to find it open. Instead we go to Hot Stuff, a laid-back family-run place that gets good TripAdvisor reviews.
So we do know a little bit about green chiles, and we were definitely keen to try this Green Chile Vodka from St George Spirits. The smell and taste of green chiles is distinctive, like good coffee, and when we opened the bottle we got that wonderful fresh aroma that we love so much – slightly herby, a little sour and bitter, but some sweetness too, and a little smoky. You can sense the fieriness of the chiles as well, but not overwhelmingly so.
Tasting Green Chile Vodka
The distillery doesn’t use Hatch green chiles but naturally sources locally in California. What’s interesting is that they blend some lime peel and fresh cilantro into the crushed jalapeno peppers, which no doubt adds a little smoothness and freshness to the mix, and stops the chiles from overpowering the drink.
Instead of being fiery, the vodka has just a little tingle on the tongue and is beautifully smooth. That intriguing blend of bitter and sweet, and the dash of herbiness and smokiness, and of course the chile zing, makes for a wonderful vodka. You might think differently if you don’t like chiles and spicy flavors, but it has enormous cocktail potential too.
Green Chile Vodka Cocktails
This Green Chile Vodka is really good to sip on its own, but we wondered what you might do with it in a cocktail. How about with some fresh limes, my wife wondered, and then when we checked the St George website we found plenty of very tempting recipes, including some with lime. The Best Bloody Mary sounds just that, a Green Chile Gimlet only needs fresh lime juice and a simple syrup, while I love the sound of the Old Maid, which is basically a Gimlet but freshened up with cucumber slices and mint.
Check out their recipe suggestions here:
You can read about how this green chile vodka is made on the St George Spirits website:
This was definitely a winner with both of us, even though my wife’s not a big fan of drinking vodka neat. However, it’s well-known that chiles have an ingredient that makes them addictive. (You can read about it here: http://www.hot-headz.com/chilli-faqs). And I can tell you it’s working. We already want another.
Green Chile Vodka is distilled in Alameda, California by St George Spirits. To find out more about this and their other amazing spirits, visit their excellent website: http://www.stgeorgespirits.com/.