Make it: Honey Ginger Thai Chili

Featuring Rachel’s Raquette Lake Elixir

Meet local food entrepreneur Rachel Pohl. Born and raised in Raquette Lake, NY, when she was 11, her parents Dean and Donna, decided they were going to build a dinner boat and go into the food service business. The ship’s hull came in two pieces and her dad, along with three of his employees, welded it together and built the boat from the hull up over a duration of two winters. Dean and Donna began devoting themselves and their lives into turning the dinner boat into a class act fine dining floating restaurant with Rachel and her three siblings in tow. Earning a living had become a family affair and 29 years later, the W.W. Durant is still entertaining guests.

Pohl decided to go into a food-related business herself, founding Rachel’s Raquette Lake Elixir, which launched with its original bloody mary mix. The line has evolved into six different Elixir flavors to choose from: Original (medium spice), Intensely Spicy Original, Bloody Caesar (with has clam juice), and three new flavors — Charbroiled BBQ, Asian Inspired and Indian Curry.

And the mixes aren’t only for cocktails. An avid home cook, Pohl started developing, testing and posting recipes to her company’s website — — featuring her Elixirs.

“I started creating these recipes because after doing a tasting at a store somewhere, I’d usually have a partial bottle left over. So this was a great way to utilize it,” she said. Her brother Jim is a chef who contributed a few ideas too: sweet calypso pork bites, bbq sauce and vodka sauce. Pohl alsos encourages customers to submit their own recipes. “If they send me the step by step procedure & a pic, I’ll feature it on my website.” (Two examples: Biz’s brisket recipe and Jim Shamis’ Zuppa di Pesce).

As for her own creations, Pohl recommends checking out the Honey Ginger Thai Chili. “It’s unique because instead of topping with oyster crackers, you can top with crumbled fortune cookies. I also like it because it’s not a recipe you’d normally think to make using Bloody Mary mix. I entered it in a Chili Cookoff and it did very well,” she said.

1/4 cup bacon drippings
1 carrot, minced
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 poblano pepper, diced
1 habanero pepper, minced
2 cups chopped onion
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 lbs ground beef
3 cups Rachel’s Raquette Lake Elixir
1 cup dark beer
2 oz. (fluid ounces) tequila
1 cup chicken broth
3 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp hot paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp white pepper
3/4 cup honey
3 tbsp finely grated ginger, or more to taste


  1. Heat bacon drippings in a heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium heat. Cook and stir carrot in the hot drippings for about 3 minutes.
  2. Stir the red bell pepper, green bell pepper, poblano pepper, jalapeno pepper, habanero pepper, and onion with the carrot; cook and stir until tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Stir in garlic and beef; cook and stir until beef is browned, about 10 minutes. Drain excess grease from the pot.
  4. Stir ELIXIR into the beef mixture. Increase heat to medium-high heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes.
  5. Pour in dark beer, tequila, and chicken broth; bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat to medium-low; stir in chili powder, paprika, cumin, coriander, salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper, white pepper, and honey. Simmer for 45 minutes to 2 hours.
  7. Stir grated ginger into the chili about 15 minutes before serving. Top with crumbled fortune cookies in place of oyster crackers!

About Melissa Hart

Melissa is a journalist with experience as a reporter and editor, combined with work for nonprofits. As the Explorer's digital editor, she serves as editor of Adirondack Almanack.(com) and helps manage the Explorer's website. When not online, she enjoys hiking, camping and other outdoors activities, and spending time with her husband, their twin daughters, and rescue animals -- two dogs and two cats. Sign up for Melissa’s newsletter

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