Here is something I discovered you don’t want to say to two Utah tourism officials sitting across from you in a Beehive State ski lodge: “I understand all alcohol served in Utah is only 4 percent alcohol by volume.”
As was quickly and meticulously explained to me, the 4 percent ABV applies to draft beer. Anything goes with what is sold or served in bottles. Some of Utah’s homegrown brewers and distillers even mock the state’s Mormon origins and uptight, teetotaler reputation. Thus, I drank a Polygamy Porter and a Five Wives Vodka cocktail, complete with the irreverent bottle artwork those names would imply.
The one that really warmed my heart (literally) was Porter’s Fire Cinnamon Whiskey Liqueur. Its 33.3 percent ABV is 3 percent more than the average liqueur and the 66.6 proof is .6 higher than Fireball.
The spicy heat of Porter’s Fire comes naturally from the cinnamon, so it’s not too hot, and a hint of vanilla produces the sweetness, so it’s not too sugary.
Warning: The Cinnamon Toast Crunch taste can be dangerous if you down more Porter’s Fire than advised, which can be especially tempting in chilly, snowy Utah. But then again, dangerous is incorporated in the name of the elixir produced by Ogden’s Own Distillery.
Porter refers to the flowing haired, piercing blue-eyed bottle model, Orrin Porter Rockwell, who was a henchman for Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. By the late 1800s, gunslinger Rockwell had more than 200 slayings attributed to him by the Salt Lake City Tribune (although Mormon historians claim it was more like 50 to 100 deaths).
Remember that, if you can remember anything, when you awake with a Porter’s Fire headache and require the hair of the Five Wives that bit you.
Porter’s Fire Cinnamon Whiskey Liqueur is available at Utah state liquor stores; Ogden’s Own Distillery at 3075 Grant Ave., Ogden, Utah; and Hi-Time Wine Cellars, 250 Ogle St., Costa Mesa, (949) 650-8463 where a 750ml bottle goes for $11.99. Order online at hitimewine.net/PORTER-S-FIRE-LIQUEUR-750.html.