Organic Hazelnut Cold Hot Chocolate Cocktail

There comes a time when you recognize that your languishing hangover’s severity is in direct proportion to the quality of alcohol you drank the night before.

Anonymous bottom-shelf drinks are akin to poison–they seep into every corner of your brain and body, bringing you a panoply of pains, aches and embarrassments. But getting drunk off of good alcohol is easy to shake off the next morning over a cup of coffee and the newspaper. A top shelf hangover is almost … pleasurable.

And that’s when you come to the realization that if you eat organic produce, nosh exclusively at farm-to-table restaurants, and get giddy over the thought of pure ice cream from the Van Leeuwan truck, you should definitely hold your alcohol to the same standard.

That’s where Prairie Organic Vodka comes in. All the production is inside Minnesota, from the organic corn grown on three family farms, to the distillation performed at a farmer-owned operation, to the bottling done nearby at a family-operated distilled spirits company. And Prairie has just introduced gin and cucumber vodka as well to its line up, in limited runs. So now you can get your organic gin tonic, too!

When I stopped by the Counting Room in Williamsburg to discuss drinks for the Launch Party, the head bartender suggested Prairie as a featured liquor before he even knew I had already settled on it. According to him, it has a smooth, clean taste with a subtle grassy note.

I wanted to try out a recipe with Prairie vodka, and the Nutty Russian sounded lovely for fall–I’m all fruited out now that summer is over. But I couldn’t find Nocino, a walnut liqueur, at my local liquor store. So instead, I got Bicerin, a hazelnut chocolate liqueur. Oh yes, I did. The result, according to my girlfriend who tried this delight, is:

PRAIRIE ORGANIC HAZELNUT COLD HOT CHOCOLATE

  • ¾ oz Prairie Organic Vodka
  • ¾ oz Bicerin
  • ¾ oz coffee liqueur

Top with soda water and finish with cinnamon whipped cream.

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Where do you get cinnamon whipped cream? You make it. Did you know whipped cream is stupidly easy to make? Combine one cup heavy cream, 3/8 cup powdered a.k.a. confectioner’s sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla. Beat on high until stiff peaks form. Bam: Cinnamon whipped cream, which is delicious enough to eat by the spoonful.

Where to Find Prairie Organic Vodka

Prairie is sold at hundreds of good liquor stores in Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx. Plus, you can ask for it at restaurants and bars like Back Forty, Empire Hotel, Forager’s City Table, Saxon and Parole, Soho Grand Hotel, and the Tribeca Grand Hotel.