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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 Martini – A Recipe