Monday, June 23, 2014

My Very Own Ideal Vodka Infusion For Just My Kind Bloody Mary...Spicy!

Bloody Mary brunches are anything but boring...especially when you start with one helluva vodka infusion. Last week a vacationing friend Facebook tagged me on his local beach bar picture of a vodka infusion. Does Greg know me or what?!

The picture was of a clear, spigoted and lidded glass crock that sat behind the bar. It wasn't immediately discernible what exactly was in the colorful mixture of red, dark green and light green vegetative objects bobbing in what I assumed (confirmed) was vodka. I mistook some of the lighter green spikes for Kosher dill pickle spears. Nope, Greg said...just various shades and types of hot peppers. Which got me to thinking. What would I put into my ideal Bloody Mary vodka infusion? I got to work.

Although that glass crock in the pic was beautiful, I already had a perfectly good large French canning jar that would work just fine for my experimental batch. Dark green jalapenos, bright red serranos and pale green long peppers went into the jar first. I like lots of pepper in a brunchtime Bloody so black peppercorns went in, followed by lots of lemon to brighten up the spiciness, garlic for zip, and yes, zesty Kosher dill pickle spears all made the cut. What an infusion! 

Would this mad mixture work in my leisurely Sunday brunch Bloody Mary? Would it work in a vodka martini? YES!

Here's how to start your own homemade Bloody Mary vodka infusion experiment. Be warned, this one is HOT! Adjust the number and types of peppers to your own personal heat tolerance. I did!

Hot Pepper Horseradish Garlic Black Peppercorn Lemon Dill Vodka 
For Bloody Marys

  • 750 ml bottle of vodka - use your fave....with this much ooph being added, you won't be tasting the vodka anyway!
  • 6 strips of fresh horseradish root, peeled - use your wide harp-style veggie peeler and cut strips about 3" wide and 4" long
  • 4 zesty dill pickle spears - your favorite brand
  • 2 dozen black peppercorns 
  • 1 long pepper, cut in half lengthwise from the bottom almost to the top - leave the halves connected below the stem
  • 2 red serranos, cut the same as above
  • 1 large green jalapeno, cut the same as above
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed with the flat side of a knife
  • 3 strips of lemon peel - NO white pith at all - each about 3" long and 1" wide

Into a jar with a lid large enough to hold everything, add all the solids to the jar and top off with the bottle of vodka. Try to submerge the everything as best you can.

Refrigerate the jar, agitating once a day, for a week. The color will become a beautifully rich yellow and pack quite a punch! Decant the infused vodka by pouring the contents through a large strainer over a bowl with a pouring spout. Press the veggies against the strainer to get out all that precious vodka!

Pour the liquid into a pretty bottle, cap and refrigerate.

The Bloody

  • 3 oz. of the vodka infusion
  • 8 oz. Original V8 (I use low sodium V8 and add my own salt)
  • Kosher salt to taste 

In a 16 oz. glass, combine all the ingredients, add ice to top, stir gently and enjoy! 

NOTE:  I kept the Bloody Mary recipe simple - why muddy the pure flavors of the vodka infusion when I'd gone to such lengths to perfect it? You can add whatever floats your boat and makes your very own Bloody Mary the best you've ever had, JUST the way YOU like it. Worchestershire? Go for it. More lemon or even lime? Why not? Anchovies? Let those little fishies swim in a sea of vodka and tomato! Make it YOUR way! 

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