You should come over for brunch simply to drink a spicy Bloody Mary made with hot pepper infused vodka. I started infusing vodkas about five years ago when I moved downtown near the River Market neighborhood in Kansas City. Every weekend, the River Market is consumed by locals perusing the biggest farmers market in the city, or the ‘City Market’. There are flowers, fresh fruits, homemade jams, local salsas, vintage items, spices, tons of veggies; you name it – it’s probably sold throughout the weekend at the City Market.
I lived only a block away, so I took advantage of local produce and really started to understand the true value of buying local. However, I would buy so many fruits and veggies that I would often find way too many of them going bad before I had a chance to eat them. Luckily, I had recently been introduced to vodka infusions through my serving job at a local restaurant during that time. So, I got the idea to start infusing my own combinations of fruits and veggies with vodkas! Since then, I’ve gone through quite a few flavor ideas for different infusions. The one infusion I still make to this day, however, is hot pepper infused vodka.
This shit has the ability to carry some heat. You can lessen the heat by removing the seeds and membranes of the peppers (like I did in the photo above). By removing the seeds and membranes, you get more of the “pepper” taste in the vodka. There’s also plenty of garlic flavor to go around. Because … my life is garlic. Just a bunch of garlic. <3
I’ve always used Serrano peppers to make hot pepper infused vodka, but most recently switched to Calabrian peppers to spice things up. (Ha! Ugh. Sorry.)
Use your favorite hot peppers if you like, or try a Calabrian. Thinly slice every pepper, and then thinly slice the garlic, and drop all of it into a glass bottle with a few peppercorns. Then, pour the vodka directly into the bottle on top of the peppers, garlic, and black peppercorns. (A funnel works best for this step. And be sure the bottle is able to seal tightly!) 🙂
Seal this bad boy up and store it in a dark area for at least 48 hours. I made this on June 13, then I let it infuse for one week. After the week of infusing, I strained the infused vodka into a glass measuring cup, then discarded of the peppers, garlic, and black peppercorns from my infusion bottle. (Just shake the bottle ferociously until they are forced out, or use your finger to drag them out of the neck of the bottle.)
I then poured the strained vodka back into the original bottle, and store it for future weekends. 🙂 Of course, hot pepper infused vodka makes for a killer Bloody Mary. We love making a good Bloody Mary when we stay in for brunch on the weekends, and having this vodka really sends any Bloody Mary over the top.
Cheers to your Sunday brunch, and to your own hot pepper infused vodka!
- 1/4 jalapeno, about four quarter inch slices
- 1/2 Calabrian or one whole serrano pepper
- 15-20 black peppercorns
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1 1/2 cups vodka
- Slice the jalapeño slices to about 1/4 inch slices. Cut around the membrane, so you only have the slices of pepper left. No seeds, no membranes. (A couple of seeds are totally okay though if they are stuck to the pepper.)
- Slice the Calabrian pepper in half lengthwise. Proceed to slice thin strips, lengthwise, until the entire half is cut into strips. They should also be about 1/4 inch thick.
- Slice the garlic clove into thin strips.
- In a glass bottle with a top that can tightly seal, drop in all pepper slices, garlic, and peppercorns. Pour vodka into the bottle through a funnel. Seal tightly, and store in a dark place for at least one week. Or at least 48 hours if you're in a rush. 🙂
- Taste with caution!