Given my love for crafting cocktails I’m sure it will come as no surprise that I also love to cook. From time to time I take cooking classes at the Cooking School of the Rockies, a local school here in Boulder. At my last class, a course on the history and use of different kinds of salt put on by Savory Spice Shop, I met Mark Stiltner. Mark and I chatted for a bit about who we were and what we did, etc. A few minutes into our conversation I mentioned that in my free time I experimented with cocktails.
Mark’s eyes immediately lit up and he began telling me about a new business he was starting. At that point Mark transformed into his alter ego Danger Chef as he told me all about a line of cocktail rimming salts that he’s producing that combine chile flavors and other natural flavors directly with the salt. Being a huge chile head I was intrigued. He then pulled a small sample from his bag and we had a taste. Mark uses a unique process in creating his salts that allows him to actually coat the salt crystals with the flavor. While this may not seem all that interesting from my experience attempting to rim with a combo of salt and cayenne pepper I can tell you it’s actually really impressive.
So, following that initial sample we chatted for some more and Mark promised to ship me some samples to review. I’ve been hoarding those samples for a while now waiting for an appropriate cocktail to feature them with. I had three salts to sample. Two Margarita salts – Habanero Pineapple and Jalapeno Lime and one Bloody Mary Salt – Smoked Cayenne. Seems only appropriate that I should let you all know about these salts during the week I’m experimenting with the Bloody Mary. The verdict? Awesome.
Habanero Pineapple: Solo – Quite spicy but still very well balanced with a hint of the pineapple fruitiness coming through. With a Margarita – I absolutely love this flavor combination. Adding chile bitters to a margarita is one of my favorite twists and these salts offer nearly the same experience. This salt blend is definitely the hottest of the three I reviewed but also my favorite.
Jalapeno Lime: Solo – Very mild spiciness with the lime flavor present as well. With a Margarita – This is the mildest of the three heat wise but still a great option for adding a touch of spice and some extra flavor to your cocktails. This should be the choice if you’re wanting to try adding spice to your cocktails but aren’t a dyed in the wool chile heads like myself.
Smoked Cayenne: Solo – Awesome smokey flavor from the alder wood smoked salt with a great heat level. With a Bloody Mary – I found that the smokiness really went fantastically well with the flavors of the Bloody Mary. To make it balance nicely drop your usual levels of salt and hot sauce in your Bloody Mary. The salt on the rim will fill in. I think this salt could also go really well in a cocktail with a smokey mezcal. Sadly I haven’t gotten to give that option a try yet.
Overall, I’m really impressed with these salts. For a little under $6 each you really can’t go wrong and they’ll add a nice new level of flavor to your cocktails. You can pick them up at Mark’s site, DangerChef.com. Thanks for the samples Mark!
† The product reviewed here was provided to me as a free sample. If you’re wondering what that means check out my sample policy.