The Heatwave is a cold, spicy vodka cocktail - perfect for a heatwave during Pride!

Happy Pride!

Well, Happy Pride and happy heatwave, everybody!

We folks here in Seattle are extremely unused to the kinds of temperatures we’ve seen and will continue to see over these last few days. It’s certainly been over 100 degrees, and today is going to hit 107 – and the forecasts keep going up. We usually say that our summer begins on July 5, and call the present month “June-uary.” Alexa showed me a picture of what was happening last year on this date, and I was wearing long sleeves!

Whew, how about a little something to take our mind off the heat?

This drink is not only strategy to survive the heatwave, but also an appreciation of this beautiful bottle of vodka that was gifted to the Pandemic Pub – and a Pride celebration on this last weekend of June!

Happy Heatwave!

We are actually very lucky, as that last sentence suggests. We’re doing fine, and trying to be as zen as we can be. “At least it’s a dry heat” as they say. Hahaha! Oh. Ha. I don’t even know if I think that’s funny. It might be time for another ice bath.

Spicy + Fresh = Heat Antidote

Anyway, we decided this should be a spicy drink, to help us mentally combat the heat. Elizabeth had already made a delightful and fresh gazpacho, which is the most amazing cold soup. For reasons I don’t understand, many people are kind of down on gazpacho. Folks, give it a try! One, it’s delicious and nothing could taste more fresh. Two, it’s brilliant in a heatwave. We decided that gazpacho should feature in this cocktail, and that we’d increase the spice (which gazpacho isn’t known for).

I adapted this recipe from Sprinkles & Sprouts, who gave me the idea to muddle vegetables – you can try their original recipe here. Using gazpacho with pepper and tomatoes was key to provide some freshness in this heat. Although we couldn’t pick out the specific flavors in the final cocktail, there’s an overall sense of light, fresh garden vegetables. I love a Bloody Mary – or a Bloody Noël or a Bloody Campbell, for that matter – but that heavy tomato taste and texture felt like too much today. Even if it is one of the more common ways people think to mix vodka.

Next, we wanted to up the spice. It felt like the right thing to do in this heat. We don’t know. We’re simply going by the seat of our pants here, folks.

A very tasty cocktail! Just what we needed, and it was great with our dinner of burgers (Beyond Meat, of course for us) and corn on the cob.

Thank you, Anne!

A special thanks to Anne, a longtime friend of the Pandemic Pub, for this bottle of rainbow vodka! She also inspired the AM Jenner!


  • 6 oz. vodka

  • 1 red pepper – cut in pieces

  • 2 cherry or grape tomatoes – cut in pieces

  • 3 Tbsp. gazpacho soup

  • 3 generous squirts of Sriracha

  • juice from 2 limes

  • fresh cilantro

  • 1/2 clove of garlic

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • salt – for rim

  • slice of lime for garnish


  • Muddle
  • Muddle the red pepper, tomatoes, gazpacho, juice of 1 lime, cilantro, salt and pepper. Make sure you’ve mashed out as much of the juice from the vegetables as you can, and that the pepper chunks are nice and soft.
  • Add the base
  • Add the vodka, garlic, Sriracha, the rest of the lime juice, and more of anything else that you want (to taste). Personally, I added more Sriracha (it wasn’t spicy enough), salt and pepper, and lime.
  • Once you’ve added the garlic – no more muddling! I think it’d take on too much of a cleansing tonic flavor, not to mention provide a bit too much “burn.”
  • If you’re making ahead, this is a good time to leave the drink and let it marinate all together in the fridge. I personally took the opportunity to leave the kitchen, and get in an ice-cold bath at this juncture. The kitchen was sweltering, as Seattle continues to break temperature records, and few people around here have air conditioning. And you thought the name simply referred to the level of spice – that’s cute!
  • Rim and Chill Glasses
  • Rim the glasses by swiping a lime wedge along the rim – I like to cut a small slit in the lime and then insert the glass’s edge into the slit. It’s efficient, and makes a very pretty rim, once the dry ingredient (in this case, salt) goes on top of this foundation.
  • On a day this hot, you’re damn right I put those rimmed (yet still empty) glasses in the fridge to get nice and cold. Did I pause in front of the open refrigerator, letting the cool air linger over me for as long as I could justify it, folding myself up so that my head and shoulders were nearly inside? It’s of no consequence.
  • Dry Shake
  • After returning from an ice bath, now is the time to shake this cocktail. I did a “dry shake” which I usually reserve for “flips” (drinks with egg in them). A dry shake is one without ice. In this case, it was everything but the ice. It’s a vigorous, sustained shake that focuses on blending the ingredients extremely well. I wanted the garlic to get a little bruised, perhaps, and lend its flavor, and let everything mix up together one more time, along with the vodka. I dry shook for about a minute.
  • Shake with Ice
  • Add ice and shake until satisfied. This is a regular ol’ shake, and is for temperature only. Now, pour these cold drinks and get out of the kitchen again!
  • Cheers! Enjoy! Stay cool!
Enjoyed on June 27, 2021

No comments

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *