Drink of the Week: Third Man’s Bloody Soju
In our Drink of the Week segment, we’ll showcase one unique type of beer, wine, cocktail — you name it — to try at one of the countless breweries, bars and restaurants from around the basin.
If you’re looking at this week’s drink and wondering what the heck soju is, then I’m here to help. It’s similar to vodka in that it’s a clear, colorless alcohol but it’s Korean in origin, distilled from grains. It also doesn’t pack the punch that vodka does, ranging from 16 to 53% alcohol. Think Mini Me instead of Dr. Evil.
Regardless of the punch, it makes for a lighter take on the Bloody Mary, but equally as tasty in Third Man’s version.
It starts with a six-hour process of infusing the soju with a four to five pepper blend. Depending on the blend, you’ll get a mix of peppers ranging from jalapenos and wax peppers to habaneros and Carolina reapers. Don’t worry, though. It doesn’t crush you with heat, but it does bring a nice spice bite as it finishes – which is perfect for my taste buds.
That’s shaken around with their own house-made bloody mix, which is a pretty balanced approach with the classic bloody characters. A Tajin-spiced rim is added for a flavor firework and then plunged into the drink are your traditional pickled veggies (you can add bacon if you wish).
It’s more refreshing than your typical bloody and doesn’t weigh you down in places where some versions (maybe more so prevalent in the wintertime) often do, which is a tip of the cap to the soju and the freshness of the house-made mix.
Perhaps one of the best features of this cocktail is the to-go packaging. It comes in a sealed pouch that can easily be tucked into a pocket or a backpack. To me, it’s a perfect way to start out the day on the slopes or in the backcountry. And if you’re looking for a little hair of the dog to get you going, this one has the bite.
Third Man Taphouse & Gourmet Deli is located at 3668 Lake Tahoe Blvd. in South Lake Tahoe. For menu and ordering information, visit them online at thirdmantaphouse.com or by phone at 530-600-2414.
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