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Hot Monkey-Glazed Fennel Almonds

These spicy-sweet almonds are a popular holiday gift, and make an irresistible cocktail party snack. Prepare them up to a week in advance, stored in an airtight container.

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 3 T Sugar
  • 2 t Fennel seeds
  • 1/2 t Crushed red pepper seeds
  • 1/2 to 1 t Hot Monkey Pepper-Flavored Vodka
  • 1 t Salt
  • 1 Cup Whole, raw almonds
  • 1 T Water
  1. Line heavy baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick spray. Heat oven to 325°F.
  2. Combine sugar, fennel seeds, crushed red pepper seeds, and salt in medium bowl. Mix well.
  3. Add almonds, Hot Monkey Vodka, and water. Stir well.
  4. Spread on prepared baking sheet in even layer.
  5. Bake for about 22 minutes—until almonds are deep brown—stirring every 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and place on trivet. Separate almonds with a fork. Cool completely on sheet.
  7. Serve once cooled, or store in airtight container.

Seared Scallops with Lemon & Vodka

Our thanks to Aida Mollenkamp for inspiring this simple but impressive dish that’s perfect as is, or very nice over pasta. Makes 4 servings as a starter and 2 as a main dish.

  • 1 lb Fresh scallops
  • 1 T plus 1 t Olive oil
  • 2/3 Cup New Deal vodka
  • 2 T Heavy cream
  • 1 T Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 t Finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 T Fresh tarragon leaves, minced
  • Salt and Pepper, To Taste
  1. Pat scallops dry with paper towels, rub with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large frying pan over high heat.
  3. When oil shimmers, add scallops, and cook on each side until golden brown, about 4 minutes total. Transfer to a plate and reserve.
  4. Remove the pan from heat and carefully add New Deal vodka, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Return pan to medium heat, and allow vodka to reduce until it is halved in volume.
  5. Lower heat to medium-low and add heavy cream, lemon juice and lemon zest; stir to combine.
  6. Return scallops and any accumulated juices to the pan and cook until just heated through.
  7. Stir in tarragon, and serve with bread as a starter, or pasta as a main course.

Oysters on the Grill

There’s no vodka in here to speak of, but we had to include this as a great accompaniment to our Bloody Mary Flight.

  • 1 Stick unsalted butter
  • 1 T Fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 T Fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 1 T Fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 T Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 t Lemon zest
  • 36 Fresh large oysters, in the shell, scrubbed
  • 2 Cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt to taste
  1. Prepare a medium hot fire.
  2. Melt butter in saucepan. Stir in herbs, garlic, juice, zest and salt to taste. Set aside.
  3. Inspect oysters to make sure they are all tightly closed. Discard any that are not.
  4. Remove the pan from heat and carefully add New Deal vodka, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Return pan to medium heat, and allow vodka to reduce until it is halved in volume.
  5. Place oysters directly onto grill and cook until they open slightly, about 4 to 6 minutes. Using an oven mitt to protect your hands, remove the top shells. Discard any oysters that refuse to open.
  6. Drizzle a little herb butter into each oyster and enjoy.

Mud Puddle Mousse

Wait a minute…chocolate mousse is like, SO eighties! Well we’ve moved it into the new millennium by updating it with local and regional ingredients. Besides….you still like chocolate mousse.. admit it. Serves 6.

  • 4 Eggs, separated
  • 4 T Sugar
  • 4 T New Deal Vodka
  • 6 oz Semi-sweet chocolate, cut into small chunks (We like Dagoba)
  • 3 T Strong, freshly-brewed Stumptown espresso
  • 8 T Soft, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • New Deal Vodka Whipped Cream, to serve
  • New Deal Vodka Candied Citrus Peel, to garnish
  1. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a large mixing bowl for 2-3 minutes until they are pale yellow and thick enough to form a ribbon when the whisk is lifted.
  2. Whisk in New Deal Vodka. Set the mixing bowl over a pot of simmering (not boiling) water and continue to whisk for 3-4 minutes, or until foamy and hot.
  3. Set the bowl over a pot of iced water and whisk for another 3-4 minutes, or until cool, thick and creamy. (Yes, so far there has been a lot of whisking.)
  4. Place another medium saucepan over the simmering water. Add chocolate and coffee and stir constantly until chocolate melts. Do not allow it to get too hot or allow it to come into contact with the water or steam.
  5. When the chocolate is melted, whisk in the butter, one piece at a time, to make a smooth cream.
  6. Slowly fold the chocolate mixture into egg yolk mixture. Be loving and gentle here.
  7. Whisk egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff peaks begin to form. Stir about 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten, and then very gently fold in the remainder.
  8. Spoon mousse into a martini glass or dessert cups and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or until set.
  9. Serve with a dollop of New Deal Whipped Cream and a few strips of New Deal Vodka Candied Citrus peel rolled in sugar. Beautiful, delicious, local, and every bit worth the excessive whisking!

New Deal Vodka Whipped Cream

This is a great way to top hot drinks and desserts. Add different flavorings to suit your taste. Try 1 teaspoon of orange zest or any of the LOFT Organic Liqueurs…both tangerine and ginger are especially nice.

  • 1/2 Cup Whipping cream
  • 1 T Powdered sugar
  • 1 T New Deal Vodka
  • Few drops vanilla extract
  1. Whip the cream in large, chilled metal bowl until stiff peaks form.
  2. Slowly stir in New Deal Vodka, sugar, vanilla.
  3. Be generous with the dollops.

Apple Vodka Sweet Potatoes

Spirited and seasonal, a perfect way to make use of the beautiful produce in abundance at your local farmer’s market. Serves 6-8. Adapted from a recipe in the The Vodka Cookbook.

  • 3 lbs Sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 T Butter
  • ½ Cup Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ lbs Apples, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 T Brown sugar
  • 1 ½ Cups Cooking apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 4 T New Deal Vodka
  1. Boil the sweet potatoes in a large pot of water with 1 tablespoon of salt until soft, about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Melt butter in large saute pan over moderate heat until it begins to brown. Add onions and apples and cook until apples are very soft, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add brown sugar and cook until sugar completely dissolves, about 2 minutes.
  4. Deglaze the pan by adding New Deal Vodka and cook until mixture begins to thicken – about 1 minute. Add the apple mixture to the sweet potatoes. Mix thoroughly, add salt and pepper to taste.

Chili-Rubbed Beef Roast

Chili, cinnamon and cocoa double as a marinade and rub for a beef roast that is sublimely juicy and flavorful. Select the freshest spices available, and don’t be afraid to take your time on the roast…. let it sit for a bit in its rub before cooking, allow it cook slowly, and finally, give it a chance to rest after removing from the oven. Roasted sweet potatoes make a delicious accompaniment for the chilly evenings of early spring. Serves 6 to 8.

  • 1 Beef round (sirloin) tip roast, 3-4lbs.
  • 2 T Ground chili powder
  • 1 T Minced garlic
  • 2 t Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 t Ground cinnamon
  • 1 T Hot Monkey Chili Pepper Vodka
  • 1 T Olive oil
  • 2 1/2 lbs Sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Heat oven to 325º F.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl, and add oil and vodka to make a paste. Reserve 2 tablespoons for potatoes.
  3. Press remaining rub mixture evenly onto beef roast. Allow to sit, covered with plastic wrap or foil in the refrigerator for 1-3 hours.
  4. Place roast on rack in shallow roasting pan. Insert oven-proof meat thermometer so tip is centered in thickest part of beef, not resting in fat. Do not add water or cover.
  5. Roast in 325º F oven 1 3/4 to 2 hours for medium-rare, 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 hours for medium.
  6. One hour into cooking, combine reserved rub with sweet potatoes and toss to coast evenly. Place potatoes on a lightly greased baking sheet and place in oven. Roast for 1 hour before removing.
  7. When the roast is finished, transfer to a carving board, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes.
  8. Carve roast beef into thin slices; serve with potatoes.
  9. Sprinkle with sea salt, to taste.

New Deal Vodka Cream Pasta

Even better the next day.

  • 1 T Olive oil
  • 1 T Butter
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Shallots, minced
  • 1 Cup New Deal Vodka
  • 1 Cup Chicken Stock
  • 1 Can Crushed tomatoes (32 oz)
  • 20 Basil leaves
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy cream
  • Salt and Pepper, To Taste
  1. Heat large skillet over moderate heat.
  2. Add oil, butter, garlic and shallots. Sauté 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add vodka and reduce by half (about 2-3 minutes).
  4. Add chicken sauce and tomatoes. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer 8-10 minutes.
  5. Stir cream into sauce and return to simmering for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and toss with hot pasta and basil leaves.

Grilled Lemongrass Ginger Chicken

Here it is: the final days of a perfect summer. The last few summer evenings need to be savored, for soon we will encounter 7 months of what I like to refer to as the ‘big wet:’ 7 months of gray skies, general dampness, and frizzy hair. We’ve got to grasp at summer’s last pleasures while we can. Outdoor grilling should be the norm right now. And by outdoor grilling, I don’t mean a damn package of hot dogs from Costco. We’ve got to do it up. We’ve got to do it up big, people. This dish will do the trick. Be sure to use one or both of the LOFT Organic Liqueurs called for. The spirits in this recipe will do things to the chicken that you never thought possible.

  • 3 Medium shallots, roughly chopped
  • 2 Stalks Fresh lemongrass (tough outer leaves removed)
  • 1 piece Fresh ginger (about 1 1/2 inches), peeled
  • 2 Cups All-purpose flour
  • ¼ Cup LOFT Spicy Ginger Cello/li>
  • ¼ Cup LOFT Lemongrass Cello
  • 3 T New Deal Vodka
  • ¼ Cup + 5 t Canola oil, divided
  • 3 T Tamari
  • ¼ Cup Fresh lime juice
  • 2 T Light brown sugar
  • 1½ t Sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 t Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 t Ground coriander
  • 1 Bunch Green onions, sliced on the diagonal
  • 4 Boneless, skinless organic chicken breasts (about 5 ounces each)
  1. Make the Marinade: Puree shallots, lemongrass, ginger, 1/4 cup oil, lime juice, tamari, LOFT Lemongrass Cello, LOFT Spicy Ginger Cello, New Deal Vodka, sugar, sea salt, pepper, and coriander in a blender until smooth.
  2. Place chicken in a baking dish and spoon on marinade, rubbing it on all sides. Cover; chill 1/2 to 2 hours.
  3. Heat charcoal grill or skillet over high heat. Brush surface with oil, and cook chicken, turning once, for 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Cook, turning once, until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove chicken; let rest two minutes; garnish with sliced green onions.

Oyster Shooters Done Right

Served right in the half-shell with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Guaranteed to be a big summer hit with the crowd at the beach house, or even just that group of guys who hang out on the fire escape of the old bricker off SE 50th and Division.

  • 1-2 T Hot Monkey Pepper-Flavored Vodka
  • 1 Willapa Bay Oyster on the half-shell
  • 1 dollop spicy cocktail sauce
  • 1 squeeze fresh lemon juice directly from a lemon wedge
  1. Spoon Hot Monkey Vodka over oyster, amount according to size of oyster.
  2. Squeeze lemon juice over the top of the monkied oyster.
  3. Top with a respectable dollop of cocktail sauce.
  4. Down the hatch and repeat with 2nd oyster.

Spirited Cherry Tomatoes

These tasty little red jewels are lovely to look at and pack just the right amount of boozy cheer. Colorful and light, they provide a needed contrast to rich holiday foods.

  • 3 pints Firm, small red and yellow cherry or grape tomatoes
  • ½ cup New Deal Vodka
  • 3 T White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 T Superfine granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp Finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 1 ½ T Coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ T Finishing salt, such as Fleur de Sel
  1. Cut a small X in skin of blossom end of each tomato.
  2. Blanch tomatoes, 5 at a time, in a saucepan of boiling water 3 seconds and immediately transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking.
  3. Drain and peel, transferring to a large shallow dish.
  4. Stir together New Deal Vodka, vinegar, sugar, and zest until sugar is dissolved, then pour over tomatoes, gently tossing to coat.
  5. Marinate, covered and chilled, at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
  6. Stir together salt and pepper and serve with tomatoes for dipping.