17 April 2009

Vodka Infusions

This post is a long-overdue follow-up to the series of experiments first referenced here. The results are in for the first rounds of schnappses, and they're relatively unambiguous. By far the best is the Horseradish Schnapps, recipe repeated below:

Horseradish Schnapps
  1. Wash, peel and slice a small piece of horseradish root.
  2. Put the slices in a clean glass jar with tight-fitting lid.
  3. Cover the root slices with clear, unflavoured vodka - 40% alcohol content (80 proof).
  4. Let steep for 3-4 days in a dark place at room temperature
  5. Shake lightly and taste from time to time.
  6. Strain and filter your infusion into a clean glass bottle or jar with tight-fitting lid.
  7. Let sit for a few days and enjoy. Storing in the freezer works well.
The only unambiguous failure of these infusions was the rosebuds - they just didn't take, other than giving a bit of a golden color to the vodka. That batch is currently infusing with a variety of other herbs - lavender and raspberry leaves - and I'll post updates on that when it's ready. There's also a straight-up lavender that's infusing, has imparted a great bluish color and lovely floral smell but not yet tasted. Other verdicts and directions (same as above save for time and quantities)

Solo Stars

  • Cardamom: takes about a week or so for the pods (5-6 per 500 mL) to get properly infused, and very well worth it. Very warming, lovely nose, goes down really smooth and mixes well with a few others below (I'll get to that) - good served room temp or chilled.
  • Clove: given how much harder they are, give the whole cloves (8 per 500 mL) about two weeks to infuse. Very nice golden color and definitely best served chilled.

Excellent Mixers

  • Ginger: You'd think this could carry it alone, but not quite. The palette of the ginger (half a small root section, sliced, two weeks) doesn't quite cover all the alcohol, so it's really best left as a compliment to others.
  • Chili: Fine as a shooter, but also lovely as a compliment to the horseradish in a dry, spicy martini. Several small chilis, two weeks.

Mixed Drinks

One great outfall of this is the Masalatini. Incredibly smooth and with a range of flavors you don't normally get in mixed drinks, I highly recommend keeping enough of each of these in stock to mix up a few of these.


  • 1 oz. cardamom schnapps
  • 1/2 oz. ginger schnapps
  • 1/2 oz. clove schnapps
  • 1/2 oz. dry vermouth
  • several dashes bitters
  • Combine all in shaker with ice; mix thoroughly
  • Serve up
So now it's all down on paper. Pixels, rather. Another recipe upcoming soon.


Claire said...

Can't wait to be in my own place for some time to try that stuff out for myself and others!

Claire said...

Can't wait to be in my own place for some time to try that stuff out for myself and others!