Firstly, you might be wondering about the theme and the name. The theme From Crass to Craft, put forth by Scott Diaz over at Shake, Strain and Sip challenges us thusly: “Create or find a drink that uses one or more ingredients that are not considered “craft” but are or can be used in a “craft” cocktail.”
Back to the name ‘Halja.’ Yes, it is the origin of the name “hell,” but let’s back up again. Hel was a goddess in the Norse tradition and her name [as well as the word from which our ‘hell’ comes from, the Protogermanic word Halja] means “one who covers up or hides something.”
This name seemed perfect for this. I’m hiding the fact that our main ingredient [a very specific kind of flavored vodka] is not really a craft ingredient by putting it in a drink where it not only shines- its most definitely the star- but its less desirable qualities are masked in beautiful fashion. Hence the name Halja, because frankly, I thought that it was going to require god-like capabilities to make the kind of drink I expect from top-end cocktail establishments with the kind of ingredient that rarely rises above the level of shots for college students who really haven’t acquired a taste for alcohol yet.