Disclosure: Thank you to the #FreshTastyValentines sponsors for providing the giveaway prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the participating bloggers with samples and products to use for #FreshTastyValentines recipe development; no additional compensation was given. (In this post in particular, I am using The Mixologist’s Salt Collection (found here) I received from UncommonGoods in the recipe.) All opinions remain our own.
I was pretty excited when I found out that UncommonGoods would be one of the sponsors for the #FreshTastyValentines giveaway! Beyond the fact that they’re offering a $150 gift certificate to one winner, I’ve worked with UncommonGoods before. I wrote about their kombucha brewing kit back in October 2014. Because of this, they offered me the opportunity to review another item from their catalog and I jumped at The Mixologist’s Salt Collection, which can be found in their Valentine’s Day Gifts Collection here.
I am a big fan of flavored salts. They can completely transform the taste of your dish with that little addition–easily overlooked, yet oh-so-powerful. Naturally, I loved the idea of a selection of salts curated specifically for the home bar. With options like Hawaiian Molokai Coffee Sea Salt and Vintage Merlot-Infused Sea Salt, the gears start churning, so many new ideas awakening.
At first, I intended to incorporate the Jalapeño Pepper Infused Sea Salt in the cocktail I was creating for #FreshTastyValentines. I wanted something different, with a kick, that reminded me a little of this delightful peach-habañero drink I had in Richmond, Virginia at Julep’s last month. But, alas, I had difficulty obtaining the key liqueur for that drink and had to come up with a new plan. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
The peaches remained, thanks to this interesting moonshine I found at the liquor store that’s packaged in a Mason jar (like it’s the real deal). I like that you can also add the fruit as a garnish (or dessert! ha!). I still wanted the essence of that heat I so loved, so I made a jalepeño simple syrup–so simple in that all you need are equal portions of water and sugar, then let the jalapeños mellow in the hot syrup for an hour to infuse it with all that spicy goodness. Add some Fire Puncher vodka and you have the whiskey cocktail that I’m presenting today…made better with a rim of Kentucky Bourbon Smoked Sea Salt. This salt is probably my favorite–I found myself uncorking this tube often just to inhale its aroma. I’m so glad I found the perfect cocktail with which you can enjoy it!
UncommonGoods has a really neat back story, if you didn’t know about them already. Founded in 1999 in Brooklyn, NY, they are a privately-owned retailer that strives to offer unique designs and handcrafted gifts that are created in an environmentally-responsible manner–without harming animals or people. Ethics: they have them! Half of what UncommonGoods sells is handmade, and most of their products are made in the United States. Like this personalized cutting board found here: we learn that they are produced by husband-and-wife team, Mike Pararas and Kim Strassner, right here in the USA. Or these whiskey stones found here, which are milled in Perkinsville, Vermont, by the oldest soapstone workshop in the United States. I like that when we buy from UncommonGoods, not only are we supporting artists and designers, but we learn about them in the process. It makes me feel more invested.
Jalapeño Simple Syrup
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 3 medium jalapeños sliced
- In a heavy-bottomed 2-quart pot, combine the sugar and water. Heat over medium flame until it starts to boil, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat, add the jalapeños, and let sit for 1 hour.
- Strain into an air-tight container.
- Can be stored in the refrigerator for at least 1 month.
Peach Jalapeño Whiskey cocktail
- 3 ounces whiskey like Jack Daniels
- 2 ounces peach moonshine with fruit, if possible (like Old Smoky Tennessee Moonshine)
- 1 ounce hickory smoked & pepper flavored vodka like Fire Puncher from GrandTen Distilling
- 1 ounce jalapeño simple syrup see above for recipe (plus more for rim)
- 1/2-1 Tablespoon Kentucky Bourbon Smoked Sea Salt for rim
- optional: peach wedges from moonshine
- In a cocktail shaker full of ice, combine the whiskey, moonshine, vodka, and simple syrup. Shake for 10 seconds.
- Dip a paper towel in the jalapeño simple syrup and rub along the rims of 2 rocks glasses. Shake out the Kentucky Bourbon Smoked Sea Salt in a circle on a shallow dish and dip the rims in the salt, coating them evenly.
- Add a large ice cube and 1 peach wedge from the moonshine to each glass. Strain the drinks into the 2 glasses and enjoy.
The #FreshTastyValentines Giveaway is open to residents of the United States and is void where prohibited. Giveaway will run from February 1, 2016, to February 8, 2016. Winners must be 18 years of age. Winners will be notified by email.
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