Up here in the ‘bold north,’ we were blessed with mild temps for the holidays, which made traveling and merry-making much less stressful. Instead, we closed out January with some of the coldest weather on record… the inevitable plunge into bone-chilling cold is here and Minnesota Winter is about to get real.
Sure, Smartwool™ socks and flannel sheets do the trick, but they’re not as satisfying as something to sip on that has both the warming effect of booze and the hit of heat.
Ancho Reyes Chile (108598) & Verde (112870) Liqueur
A little sweet mixed with a little heat. This slightly sweet, slightly spicy, totally yummy liqueur comes in two styles. The original is made with fully mature red Poblano peppers which have been sun-dried and offer notes of smoky chile heat. The second, called Verde, is made with the same Poblano peppers, but they’re harvested while still green, and present a much more vibrant, less smoky, fresh chile flavor. Use a ½ ounce of either of these to spice up a traditional Margarita or Manhattan.
Skaalvenn Habanero Rum (111384)
It has gotten to the point that so many things are labeled ‘habanero’ but are really just a smidge hotter than a pickle. This rum from a local distiller is the real deal. Fiery heat combines with classic rum sweet depth to create a furnace of a shot if taken directly. So don’t – tame the heat by making this lighter-than-expected ode to the tropics cocktail that will take you on a mental vacay to someplace warm. Add 1 ounce Skaalveen Habanero Rum to an ice-filled highball filled with 4 ounces pineapple juice (fresh if possible), topped with coconut water and a dash of grenadine. Stir before sipping.
Surdyk’s has a huge selection of sake – maybe the largest in the Midwest. And while many of the exquisite bottles are best enjoyed slightly chilled, there are several that are delicious when warmed. The key is in the heating process. You don’t want to zap your sake in the microwave or boil it to a reduction directly on the stove. Here’s how Melissa Surdyk, our resident sake expert, suggests you proceed:
1) Fill a small saucepan halfway full with water and bring to a boil on the stovetop.
2) Turn off the heat. Fill a tokkuri (ceramic pitcher) with sake and set into the water bath.
3) Let bathe for 2-4 minutes or until small bubbles form in the sake. The ideal temperature is 122°.
We suggest this heating method with Bride of the Fox Junmai Ginjo (113455). We have all others suitable for heating marked in the store!