Let’s Get Blitzen: Cocktail Advent Calendar – Day 11 – Boozy Hazelnut Hot Chocolate. This adult cup of hot cocoa is creamy and decadent with a healthy dose of booze in the form of Frangelico, hazelnut liqueur, and Vodkow, a very special vodka made just outside of Ottawa in the picturesque town of Almonte, Ontario.
I teamed up with the makers of Vodkow, Dairy Distillery, who kindly provided me a bottle of Vodkow and some Dairy Distillery swag, to host a little giveaway for my Ottawa area readers (of legal drinking age) on Instagram.
I paid a visit to the charming craft distillery in Almonte over the summer to see how the spirit is made and pick up a bottle for myself.
The folks at Dairy Distillery use a highly innovative technique to make their Vodkow. If you’ve been on a distillery tour of any kind, you’ll know that all spirits are made by fermenting sugar. What makes the distillation process unique in Vodkow is the *kind* of sugar they use.
The foundational element of this spirit is milk sugar – a natural byproduct of milk production. Milk from 3,500 Ontario dairy farms is sent to large processing facilities where cream is skimmed off the top to make butter and ice cream and concentrated milk proteins make ultrafiltered milk, used by cheese and yogurt makers.
The making of ultrafiltered milk creates a sugar rich liquid called milk permeate. Prior to Dairy Distillery’s innovation, most milk permeate was dumped, creating a strain on the environment and leaving dairy farmers to foot the bill for its disposal.
In partnership with the University of Ottawa, the creative minds at Dairy Distillery found a way to convert milk permeate into an unbelievably smooth spirit. Vodkow has a creamy mouthfeel and notes of caramel on the palate.
I wanted to build on the flavour profile of the vodka by pairing it with creamy hot chocolate and hazelnuts.
Nutella lovers are guaranteed to love this drink and it’s a perfect way to warm up after a day of skiing, snowshoeing, or making snow angels.
In a small saucepan, heat cream over medium-low heat, stirring often, unitl steaming, about 3-5 minutes.
Meanwhile, rim a heatproof glass mug with chocolate hazelnut spread and then dip the rim in chopped hazelnuts.
Remove cream from heat and stir in powdered hot chocolate mix. Whisk gently until combined.
Add Vodkow and Frangelico to glass and top with hot chocolate. Serve immediately.