Starting last summer, bartenders all over the country were playing with smoke in cocktails. Currently, many are playing with the smoky flavors of Islay whisky and mescal in drinks. The savory cocktail trends has been going on for a couple years. And now a few distillers are putting spicy and saucy flavors directly into the bottle.
Hangar One's Chipotle Vodka is in its second year of (limited-release) production, and as I've said, getting some interesting use in cocktails.
Chicago's North Shore Distillery also released a spicy spirit (they're not calling it vodka but it's an infused neutral spirit) in a limited edition of 500 bottles. This one is Mole Poblano. According to the website:
"To create a spirit version of Mole Poblano, we began by selecting seven types of chili peppers. We deveined and deseeded the peppers, and cut them into chunks. Rather than using processed Mexican chocolate, we used whole cacao beans, which we carefully ground. We also added a wide range of herbs and spices to complete the mix. We infused all these ingredients into the spirit, and then distilled the mixture to infuse the flavors more fully into the spirit. We then infused the spirit with additional herbs to get to its final form."
And finally, I just discovered this range of organic liqueurs, Thatcher's Organic Liqueurs. They have two spicy ones: Tres Chiles and Chipotle. The website doesn't describe the products in any detail, but I spoke briefly with the brand owner who was sourcing organic materials from all over, so we know there are real ingredients in the product.
Time to get spicy!