Hey folks, it’s the last weekend of the month and that means that it’s recipe time!
This month, however, I’m splitting my recipe in two. A post for 🔥 the main recipe 🔥 but also this one for an ingredient. For my chilli vodka.
So, if you’re over eighteen (or whatever your country’s legal drinking age is) and want to infuse some alcohol, read on.
For this, you’re going to need exactly two ingredients:
150ml unflavoured vodka
2 dried cherry bomb chillies
And that’s really it.
Chilli vodka is super simple to make. All you have to do is put chillies into vodka and wait.
It does matter, however, what vodka you use and exactly how long you leave it.
Personally, I’ve been using Russian Standard but Stolychnaya is practically identical and I’m sure there are other brands out there that will work equally well. Any subtleties will be masked by the flavour of your peppers, anyway, so it’s not worth buying anything too special.
The one thing I would caution you against is, though, using particularly cheap vodka. In my experience, Smirnoff and most supermarket own brands have a much stronger solvent taste than the medium or good quality stuff. One that I find unpleasantly reminiscent of nail varnish remover, even if it isn’t anywhere near as strong as that smells*.
That, unlike the other, milder, flavour notes in the alcohol, will be obvious even over your chillies.
So, once you’ve picked your vodka and got your chillies, it’s time to combine them. To do this, simply poke holes in your peppers or break them apart (this second option requires a strainer later, mind you) and shove them into your bottle (or whatever glass container you wish to use). Then pop the lid on and set it aside.
In just a few days, your vodka should be as red as the chilli infused sort that I’m using in the recipe for 🔥 today’s main post 🔥:
This is, after all, how I made it.
From its colour and its scent (not to mention the floating chillies), it’s plain to see that it’s not your ordinary, pre-infused fare but, even so, the
made when its chillies combined with the alcohol’s warmth came as a bit of a shock to me. I’ve never had that much heat from a cherry bomb sauce and it’s not even much below just munching them fresh.
If you’re not used to that kind of heat, I would strongly recommend watering this recipe down with more vodka. It’s not as if the flavour isn’t strong enough to survive.
After three to five days, your vodka will have an intense peppery flavour, much like you’d expect of the cherry bomb, yet without any of its distinctive, berry-like sweetness. The end result is a “dry” drink that I would suggest you use in cocktails, rather than on its own.
And I would also suggest fishing out the chillies after those five days, since they seem to impart a touch of bitterness if left in for too long.
Yet, while the lack of any of the chillies’ natural sugars makes the taste of this spirit rather different to what I normally get out of cherry bombs, it will still pair excellently with the spices from littlepod’s vanilla curry and I made full use of that fact in 🔥 today’s main recipe 🔥.
Or, if you want to put a slight twist on that recipe or abandon it all together, you can always swap out the chillies for any other interesting variety that you have on hand. Just maybe cut the number down to one if you’re using an actually hot variety. Cherry bombs would normally make a two or two and a half out of ten sauce, not a four out of ten beverage. I’m somewhat scared of trying this with any superhots.
And do remember that you can dry chillies in the oven if you need to, granting access to even sorts that you might only be able to find in your own garden.
*WARNING: Smelling solvents like nail varnish remover is not a safe thing to do and I have only ever done it unintentionally. Please do not harm yourself by actively seeking to understand this comparison. It’s just not something that I want to taste, ok?
I was really surprised at the strength of fresh chilli flavour this vodka had, it was quite overwhelming. The heat was less of a surprise but will act as a limiter on how much you can drink in a session, hopefully. Looking forward to trying it with ginger ale; they should go really well together.
Oh, and shaking the bottle vigorously a few times a day while the chilli is infusing is a good idea to give it a helping hand.