Feelin’ Hot Hot HOT!

This week’s Alphatini is brought to you by the letter H!

Brainstorming for this week came up with such ideas as Hurricane (oh so done already), Hellfire (Charmed reference or Biblical retribution, take your pick), and Handshake. But, then, the winner appeared: A Hot Tamale!

Not the candy, though I suppose you could go that route if you wanted, I was thinking about the meat-filled, masa-wrapped, steamed-in-a-corn-husk delicacy. A delicacy I’ve never actually tasted. The closest I’ve seen a tamale were those canned ones that I never really understood–they just didn’t look very appetizing!

Hot Tamale Cocktail

But the great thing about being pretty proficient in the kitchen is that researching a recipe can give you a pretty good idea of what your aiming for, cocktail-wise. Of course, you’re probably wondering how such a non-liquid item–a savory food, at that–can be replicated in liquid form that isn’t some sort of smoothie-gone-wrong disaster.

Two hints: Pepper Vodka and Beef Stock

Wait! Don’t go! Hear me out!

It’s actually not unheard of to use something like Consomme in a cocktail–I’ve found at least 3 recipes (Horse Feathers, Bloody Bull and Bullshot) that do just that. They range from hangover cures to liquid lunches, but they exist. I will say that you want to use either canned Consomme or beef stock in this recipe–homemade, unless you’ve taken the time to really de-fat it, will yeild rather unpleasant results.

One Hot Tamale

2 oz Beef Stock
1 oz Pepper Vodka (like Absolut Peppar)
3 dashes Angosturra Bitters
Lime Wedges, Cocktail Onions for garnish

Combine over ice 1 squeeze lime wedge (leave the lime in), stock, vodka and bitters in a cocktail shaker. Shake like you’re walking over hot coals and strain into a room-temperature cocktail glass. Garnish with a second lime wedge and a cocktail onion or two.

To really spice this up–because it’s actually a rather mild and pleasant drink–mix up some cumin, chili powder and garlic powder. Slide the slime wedge around the edge of the glass and then dip the moist rim into the spice mixture.

Even though we’re calling this a Hot Tamale, the drink is served cold. The result is very Bloody Mary-like, so it would make an excellent brunch cocktail or even a nice first course for a late-night supper. Don’t be fulled by that measly 1 ounce of vodka, though, even after a full supper it can still pack some punch.

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