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wodka

Yet again Sunday has rolled around and I’ve had a think as to what I’ve done this week that could be called creative. Unfortunately as a craft project I started tinkering with yesterday fell apart (literally) at the point that I realised that I had no sticky tape I am left with but one thing to choose from.

This week I done made flavoured vodka.

The delicate looking bottles above contain, working from left to right, a chilli and a liquorice vodka. I, of course, didn’t make the vodka itself, but I soaked things in various amounts of vodka to create the two samples above. Vodka-wise I used Russian Standard, as it was more expensive than Smirnoff, but cheaper than everything else. Also it had cyrillic text on the label, which makes it more authentic. It does. Really. So, recipe:

Liquorice Vodka:

1 bag of Henry Goode‘s soft eating liquorice (I got mine free at Interesting, but you should probably pay for yours)
350ml of Vodka

Place liquorice in vodka. Leave for an amount of time. Remove liquorice. Drink vodka.

You can probably guess the chilli vodka recipe (I used 3 largeish red chillis, chopped each into 3 or 4 pieces lengthwise).

I left mine for about 2 days for the liquorice and a day for the chilli – while that was fine for the former, the latter became fairly deadly after 5 minutes of steeping and the extra 24 hours and 55 minutes turned it into a dangerous substance which caused my tongue to hurt when I sniff it. The liquorice is an unbridled success and I am sipping at a glass of it, served over ice, as I write. However the chilli is a different story – it tastes of chilli in a excellent way, but the levels of heat surpass anything I expected, especially as I used some fairly mild chillis. I used it yesterday to deglaze a steak pan before making a butter sauce and that worked quite well, so I’m putting it in the ‘food additive’ section of my brain, rather than the ‘get drunk on it’ one. There are only two sections in my brain.

I also experimented with making coffee vodka, sticking a teaspoon of each of the two types of beans I have into glasses and covering each with about 25ml of vodka. I left them for a couple of days and was quite surprised how much coffee flavour (and colour) came out, however was not impressed by the actual flavour, which was generically coffee-like despite the a) quality of the coffees I used and b) total difference in their smells and flavours (one makes a very fruity, grapefruity cup, the other a very tasty but normal tasting coffee). It also didn’t seem to extract all that much caffeine, although after an evening of tasting flavoured vodka I’m expecting that it wouldn’t have mattered if it had. Sleep came fairly swiftly last night.

Anyways, the liquorice vodka is going onto my list of things to make lots of – it’s easy and tastes rather excellent, if you like liquorice. One bit of advice on the ‘brewing’ process for the chilli vodka though, don’t use an old white wine bottle to store it before getting some nice bottles – it looks enough like white wine that someone’s going to pour themselves a glass and then die on the floor clutching at their throat. I didn’t almost do this yesterday, no matter what the rumours suggest.

Comments

Comment from stroppycow
Time 21st September 2009 at 6:59 pm

chilli vodka might lose a bit of its potency cut half/half with plain in a bloody mary or make a nice addition in tomato sauce. Something at the back of my brain is whispering chocolate mousse flavouring too.

Comment from Chris Harris
Time 8th October 2009 at 12:49 pm

About fifteen years ago on alt.fan.pratchett, the verdict was that salmiakki – Finnish liquorice – was perfect for dissolving in vodka. It’s certainly an acquired taste in its natural form, though. It was described by Mr Pratchett as “like sucking a boiled battery” as the good stuff has the refreshing tang of ammonium chloride. For real.

Comment from Ellie
Time 9th March 2011 at 11:20 am

Hiya! I’m making the liquorice vodka for a Weird Food party on Saturday – got high hopes! Thanks for the recipe. x

Comment from billy
Time 9th March 2011 at 12:19 pm

@Ellie With my more recent ‘experiments’ I’ve run the vodka through coffee filters, which has made it a beautiful semi-transparent red colour rather than murky brown as well as cleaning up the flavour a bit. I’ve also used italian hard liquorice candy (you can get tins of them fairly reasonably priced in the Algerian coffee shop on Old Compton Street) which makes a much less sweet drink, but one that can be cut with some sugar to make a more liqueur-y affair.

Anyways, good luck!

Comment from Ellie
Time 10th March 2011 at 10:40 am

@billy – Thanks, it’s looking dire on Day 1 of 4… Like coke with grey plasticine fags in it 🙁 !

Comment from Terri
Time 24th July 2012 at 11:25 pm

I want to soak the red licorice nibs in Absinthe (not the real thing, the imitation that is still expensive) and give the licorice to unsuspecting people.