Greetings from Cheyenne, Wyoming! It’s about time I made a cocktail from the road. Well, not made literally from road material … You know what I mean!
Have you ever heard of Koltiska? I was not aware of it until I began seeing billboards as I drove through Wyoming this week.
It is a liqueur (60 proof) made since the 1800s by the Koltiska family in Sheridan, Wyoming. It is grain-based. It’s primary note is cinnamon, although it is much smoother and more buttery than the Fireball variety. Now in their fifth generation, the family takes pride that they were the first distillery in Wyoming.
At Boot Barn in downtown Cheyenne, before buying a bottle at the restaurant and liquormart next door, I asked the salesgirl to describe Koltiska for me. The very young lady replied, “A little bit of heaven in a glass?” (Yes, that question mark was intentional; people under the age of 25 seem to speak as if they are constantly asking questions.) I inquired how she likes to drink it. She replied with the recipe for the Kowboy Kool-Aid: Koltiska, Red Bull, and cranberry juice.
Well, I made that recipe in the Nellie Test Kitchen (substituting cola for Redbull, naturally), and blech!
I tested the other recipes listed on Koltiska’s website, including The KO Mustang, The KOjo, the KO Sunset, The KOrita, and the KOwboy Kola, and they were all equally odd. The KOrita was particularly horrifying: 3 oz. Koltiska, 3 oz. coffee liqueur (I used Kahlua), 3 oz. triple sec and 3 oz. sweet and sour mix.
The salesgirl also mentioned the most popular way to imbibe Koltiska is as a shooter, and I began to think it would be the only way I could drink this stuff.
I was determined to make a decent drink from the liqueur. I set my sights on a lemonade made in Jackson Hole, Wyoming: Dust Cutter, which also makes its version of an Arnie Palmer – lemonade and iced tea.
Eureka! Here is a recipe of my own making, which is pretty tasty:
In a rocks glass filled with ice and half full of Dust Cutter lemonade (substitute lemonade of your choice if unavailable), place:
2 Shots Koltiska
Splash Clear Cola, Regular Or Diet (I used Sprite)
Lime Garnish – squeeze into glass before drinking