There are a some foods, and especially drinks, that have a time and a place, outside of which, they do not really work. I remember years ago, I hiked to the top of Snowdon in Wales, where there is a tackily-placed cafe. We were cold and tired, and really fancied a hot coffee. So we joined the queue, and slowly started to bake in the combined heat of the kitchen, the cranked-up heating system, and the mass of huddled humanity crammed in against the cold. By the time we got to the front of the queue, all we could think about was downing a cold beer. So we all ordered one, and then looked for a seat. There were none to be found, so we went back outside, in to the teeth of a British gale. We began to sip the cold beer that we suddenly wished was a hot coffee again.
Like beer in the freezing cold, toffee vodka makes absolutely no sense sitting around table in the warm of a centrally-heated house, with a belly full of fine food. But if you are haring down the last ski run of the day in Meribel, and you rock up to Le Rond Point bar up above Meribel Village, then a cold shot glass of fiery spirit with a load of candy dissolved in it is just about the best thing in the world. The great thing about toffee vodka is its sheer ease of manufacture. You take one standard packet of Werther’s Originals butterscotch sweets, and plop them in a big pickling jar with one bottle of reasonable vodka (we use Russian Standard). You then leave that for the half day or so it takes to dissolve the sweets, shake, bottle and put it in the freezer. It will not actually freeze, so you will always have access to a cold, gloopy, alcoholic treat when you come back in from sledging.
Le Rond Point can be found at the top of the Rhodos ski lift in Méribel, 73550 Les Allues, France.
- 750ml Russian Standard vodka
- 135g pack of Werther's Originals (not the sugar-free ones)
Unwrap all the sweets and put them in a pickling jar with the vodka until dissolved.
Bottle and freeze.