Back end heat for n/a cocktails?

My wife made a delicious n/a cocktail that tasted a bit like an Old Fashioned met a Sidecar. The only thing missing was the alcoholic warmth that you get way down in the throat.

Does anyone have suggestions for how to add that kind of back end heat? Most hot sauces I can think of put the heat/spice on the tongue.

(Fresh) Ginger?

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Patrick Have you tried any of the infused hot honeys. Mikes is probably the most well known but Trader Joes makes one as well. I use it in a old fashioned, or hot teas etc. I’m kind of obsessed with the stuff :smile:

I had this article saved that might be of interest.
If I remember correctly Bhut Jolokia has the least immediate impact. (Has Backend building heat)

Infusing into a fat seems as though it would delay onset, but I’m not sure how you work that into a cocktail?

this exact subject is covered int his very good serious eats piece: What Makes a Great Mocktail?.

MSG is always the right ingredient to add to anything, and in mocktails it will deliver some of the umami that we may perceive from brown spirits. I already add maldon to all my cocktails, but MSG would be … more better.

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That was my first thought, but I don’t think the flavor profile will work with this type of cocktail.

Brilliant! Does the hot honey let you reduce the amount of simple syrup?

Great article! Bhut Jolokia (and habanero and scorpion) sound like what I’m looking for, but they are too hot for me. I wonder if I could find habanero powder and add the tiniest of pinches.

I may explore MSG, but the umami seemed to be OK. She used Beckett’s '27 Amaretto as the base. Could you tell me more about how you use Maldon? I love that stuff.

re: maldon, just a tiny pinch in the drink, usually before mixing so it melts. everything is better with some salt. no clue why i use maldon as i’m sure diamond crystal would be same.

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For sure. I do a 0/50
Split or risk being too sweet. I love that slow burn in the backend.

Lemme know if it works for you


Got me thinking about how to make a dose small enough of bhut Jolokia.

Then just a drop or two maybe? Would take some experimenting…

We use this to heat up cocktails.

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That sounds great! In your experience, does the Hellfire shrub limit the heat to the back end? Would the flavor profile work with an Old Fashioned or Sidecar?

Yes. You can use just one or two drops, and you’ll get that back end heat.
I like it in a mezcal negroni.

I mentioned this to my wife, and she had already got me some local hot honey for Valentine’s Day! She’s a keeper.

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Awesome gal!

I made my buddy an old fashioned last night, he raved about it and demanded another :joy:. Hope it works for ya.

Post your recipe please!

Patrick I wish I could dazzle you with my recipe but it’s pretty standard. Right now I have some smoked simple syrup by Traeger, a bottle “clover” single barrel rye. I do about 2.5 oz rye, maybe 1/2 oz syrup with a teaspoon or so of honey, some bitters, orange peel and a big ass ice cube. Just have To play around to find the right balance of syrup to honey.