If you’ve ever inhaled mac and cheese after drinking, well, the good folks at Velveeta and BLT Restaurants are here to save a few steps. Welcome: the Veltini, a riff on a dirty martini that features Velveeta cheese-infused vodka stirred with olive brine and dry vermouth. It’s garnished with Velveeta-stuffed olives, jumbo-size Velveeta cheese shells, and “a cheese drip” (mmm, drips). The Veltini is available at BLT Steak in downtown DC starting today—as well as a handful of other BLT locations around the country—during “golden hour” from 5 to 8 p.m.
So, as a friend immediately asked when I described the Veltini: “How is this where we are culturally?” (Yes, that’s a very DC response to boozy cheese drinks). The Veltini is certainly a vibe shift from the espresso martini craze. The latter says “I want to stay awake and party without the stigma of cocaine.” Whereas drinking a processed-cheese-product cocktail at a DC steakhouse screams: “I give up—but make it classy.” That’s not to say the drink is made without good effort. BLT bartenders infuse vodka with Velveeta cheese sauce at room temperature for a minimum of 24 hours before freezing overnight to allow the Velveeta to properly infuse. It’s then strained through a cheese cloth to purify. Company tasting notes read along the lines of “rich,” “creamy goodness,” and “unexpected.”
The Veltini is just one potable part of a new marketing campaign for the Kraft Heinz-owned brand that’s pushing it as a lifestyle product (since anything, including liquid cheese, can be a lifestyle these days). The campaign tagline is living “la dolce Velveeta,” which according to the company, “is all about stepping out in a confident, unapologetic way to show the world that you’re living a life filled with outrageous pleasure.” The brand also released a cheese-scented nail polish last month, because nothing says “unapologetic” like fingers that smell vaguely cheesy.
If you can’t make it to BLT Steak for the $15 special—while supplies last—don’t start dumping vodka into Velveeta cheese cups like a psychopath. There’s a $50 kit for that, available for home delivery via Goldbelly. Packages come with two martini glasses, a gold cocktail shaker, and everything to make the drink, including garnishes and Velveeta cheese sauce to infuse the vodka and drip around the rim (booze not included). Cheers—or should we say, cheesers.