Infused Vodka | How to Infuse Vodka

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Infused Vodka

How to infuse vodka
How to infuse vodka

How to Infuse Vodka
Infused vodka was a turning point for me. I have come a long distance on my journey to the perfect bloody Mary recipe. As a student of the Hemingway school, I mixed them by the pitcher and believed, “anything less is worthless.” As I learned that one size does not always fit all, I began hand crafting my bloodies, one at a time, to the tastes of my guests. These guests have guided my hand as I explored various ratios of ingredients and new flavors.

I learned very early that most of the common ingredients in a bloody Mary contain salt. I like salt but, like Tylenol in a good pain-killer, it limits the amount of each ingredient one can safely add. (Thank God- there’s no salt in vodka!)

In order to take more control over my bloody Mary, I began buying fresh peppers, celery, garlic, onions, and horseradish root, and dehydrating them. I’d then grind them and sprinkle varying amounts into my bloody Marys, without fear of overdosing on sodium. It’s wonderful and I recommend trying it! Once I developed what I thought was a good ratio of each, I concocted an,”Ultimate Bloody Mary Seasoning Mix.” (I may sell it, but for now, I’m keeping it!)

Then I got thinking…That dehydrator kicks out heat all night long. Why spend all of that energy dehydrating my lovely vegetables, only to re-animate them later? Inspired by the cold press coffee movement, and my eco-frenzied sweetheart, I had an epiphany. I would eliminate the energy and flavor sucking middle man, and infuse these vegetables directly into my infused vodka!

I buy organic, and when possible, locally grown vegetables, cut them into quarters, pack them into a large glass decanter, and fill with vodka. In about ten days I feel like an alchemist with a gallon of gold. Here are a few things I’ve infused into my vodkas over the past year:

Infused vodka is not limited to the obvious. I’ve infused lemons, limes, peppercorns, horseradish root, radishes, habanero, jalapeno, bell, and banana peppers, onions, garlic, celery, even bacon. (Mmm) Next on my list are fresh dill weed and cucumbers.

Nothing beats the full fresh flavor that infused vodka creates. I still enjoy going back to a Hemingway from time to time, but most of my bloody’s these days spring from that lovely decanter.

A few things to keep in mind in regard to infused vodka;

Leafy vegetables and porous items infuse quickly. a few days is all that is needed. Peppers are a great choice for your infused vodka but be careful. If you leave them in the booze more than a week or two, the vodka will become bitter. Infusing with bacon is a delicious way to improve your bloody Mary but be sure the bacon is fully cooked before infusing!
Greg Tooke My short bio

Feel free to share your own infused vodka ideas by clicking on the COMMENTS link below. Cheers!

So you have your infused vodka-now what? Check out some of our bloody Mary recipes!

Bloody Mary Bar

Bloody Mary Bars

What Makes a Great Bloody Mary Bar?

bloody Mary bar
bloody Mary bar

Bloody Mary bars are a fun and practical way to deliver high quality, personalized bloody Mary cocktails to large numbers of people. If set up correctly, guests can take pride and ownership of their bloody. You’ll seldom get complaints and people will talk about the awesome cocktail they created at your bloody Mary bar.

As I’ve stated in various bloody Mary recipes, there are two very important factors affecting the quality of this drink: Freshness and temperature. Keep the bloody Mary ingredients as chilled as possible. Filling a salad bar or large tub or cooler with crushed ice is a good start.

Keeping the individual ingredients properly chilled will ensure that they retain their flavor and taste their best. It will also allow you to keep the unused portions longer. It’s also important to keep ingredients separate to the greatest extent possible. While it is handy to prepare the best bloody Mary mix in advance, remember: as soon as tomato juice is mixed with other ingredients, the acids in it begin to break them down. The other advantage to keeping the ingredients separated is that unused portions can easily be put back into cold storage for use in your next bloody Mary bar.

It’s best to give your guest an ice filled glass with vodka poured from the bar and let them run from there. Rim salt is also a nice touch. Demitri’s makes a phenomenal bacon rim salt. There is real excitement as he or she carries that vessel of potential to your bloody Mary bar.

So what ingredients should a good bloody Mary bar be stocked with? Let’s start from left to right, and let’s arrange the ingredients of the bloody Mary bar this way too. It will allow for a smooth flow of traffic. On a side note, try to place the bloody Mary bar in a fairly open, accessible area. There’s nothing more frustrating than waiting in a line behind some tight little alcove while Aunt Verna considers the pro’s and cons of garlic stuffed olives.

Start with good quality tomato juice and V-8 juice. If you must, offer your famous Uncle Freddie’s secret xxx bloody mix. Label each clearly. Moving right, and still in the chilled portion of the serving area, place as many hot sauces as possible. At a minimum, offer regular and green chili Tabasco, siracha, and one other. In the same area place the Worcestershire. (A must!) As you move further right, get a little creative: pickle juice? fresh horseradish? Place two bowls of cut citrus: one lemon, the other lime.

Now the fun part. This is what people remember, talk about, take pictures of, and post to social media. The garnish! Cover the basics. -of course. Pickles, celery, olives, cheese cubes all should be present. Don’t stop there. Make your bloody Mary bar something to talk about. Consider adding items like pickled onions, okra, cherry peppers, peperoncini, garlic stuffed olives.  Bacon is very hot right now. Other meats like beef jerky, pepperoni, and summer sausage are great too. Because they’re salted, they hold up well too. Be sure to provide skewers large enough to accommodate a good sampling of these bloody Mary bar garnishes.

Finally, at the far right, and out of the ice, stock a black pepper grinder, ground cayenne pepper, and fresh ground celery salt. (Another must!) When it’s all set up, call me. It sounds great!

Cheers! -Greg Tooke My short bio

***Have you been to a really good bloody Mary bar?  Tell the world about it.  Think you have a good one?  Here’s your chance to brag! Enter comments below.  Thanks!

How do you make the best Bloody Mary?

How do you make the best Bloody Mary

Square One: How to Make the Best Bloody Mary Recipe

Before discussing how to make the very best bloody Mary recipe, let’s start with the basics: Ingredients.  Whenever possible, use fresh ingredients in your bloody Mary recipe.  The worst thing you can do is buy some bottle of pre-mixed concoction, laden with preservatives, most of which are hard to pronounce.  Instead, gather up fresh citrus, whole peppercorns, and fresh celery salt.  Throw out that old shaker that’s sat in the back of your cupboard since the Clinton administration and buy fresh.  Better still? grind your own!

To really keep things fresh, consider infusing your vodka.  I’ll write more about this but think about it.  Why buy some powder from an old dried out pepper that sat on a shelf for who knows how long?  That’s NOT how to make the best bloody Mary recipe folks!  Instead, try putting fresh peppers into your vodka and letting it sit for a couple weeks. (No more- it will get bitter)  You’ll be amazed at the flavor!

Check out our new VideoHow to Make a Bloody Mary 

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Don’t mix all of your ingredients up far in advance.  To keep the flavors alive, make the cocktails close to the moment of consumption as possible.  Keep it cold!  Chilling the drink will also preserve the freshness of the ingredients.  I like to use a cocktail shaker full of ice to chill my Bloody.

Follow the “How to Make a bloody Mary Cocktail video,” then try experimenting with your own ideas.  If you really want to impress your friends and customers, spend some time and money on garnishes.  Adding a small meal on top of the bloody Mary will make the cocktail memorable.  There’s nothing better than watching someone take a photo of the cocktail you made to post it to Face Book.  Grow some buzz!

Finally, don’t forget to serve your bloody Mary with a small glass of cold beer.  Call it a chaser, a beer back, or a side car, it’s a perfect companion to this drink.

Those are the basic principles of how to basics of making a bloody Mary, from Clamato to 

V8 bloody Mary Mix

Observe them and that’s how you will make the best Bloody Mary Recipe!