Fire In Your Belly

My husband likes spicy things. No, strike that. My husband loves spicy things. It was with this in mind that I showed him a recipe I'd found for chili-infused vodka earlier in the summer. The recipe called for a pile of different peppers and fresh horseradish. I liked the idea, but wanted to simplify it and make it spicier still. I set aside the inspiration and then went about living my life for the rest of the summer.

And then we went to our CSA Harvest Party. Part of the festivities involved a wagon ride through the farm and stops along the way to see different areas. Some stops involved picking some produce. Raspberries, eggplant, tomatoes, pumpkins and peppers were among the items picked. Some were enjoyed right in the fields and others were nestled into bags and crates to be taken home. We ended up with a couple pounds of fresh jalapeños, compliments of my dear husband. Suddenly, I had a great reason to experiment with spicy vodka and that's just what we did. The biggest problem we had was shaking the jar every day without sneaking a taste!

The final result was a lovely fall-inspired orange that packs a lot of heat. Now, my dear husband likes to use it in his bloody marys entirely undiluted. Unless you really love super spicy things, I highly recommend diluting the vodka before using it to mix drinks. I like making a spicy martini with it, but diluting the chili-infused vodka with regular vodka by half or even more still gives a spicy drink without having you breathing fire. If you are a fan of fire-breathing, then feel free to enjoy it full strength. Just … be careful about who you kiss!

Chili-Infused Vodka

  • 375 ml vodka
  • 12 jalapeños
  • 2-3 tablespoons dried red chili flakes
  • 1 lime
  • 2-3 tablespoons peppercorns

Quarter all the fresh peppers. If you want to reduce the heat, seed and stem the peppers. You can really use any combination and quantity of peppers. Take your lime and make about twenty slits in the peel all over the lime.

Put all the ingredients into a clean, sterilized wide mouthed jar. Using a wide mouthed jar (like a mason jar) just makes it easier to get everything in and out. Put the vodka in a cool, dark place. Cover with a dish cloth if you like.

Every day, shake it. Let the vodka sit at least one week then strain the vodka through cheesecloth and enjoy in bloody marys or spicy martinis.

  • Yields: 300 ml spiced vodka (This is a lot, especially if you plan to dilute it. Hint: most humans will want to dilute it.)
  • Preparation Time: 1 week

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