Little Preview of My Next Infusions

Infused Bourbon

Been light on the posts around here lately. It’s been busy as hell with the holidays and the shopping and the bottle shares and the friends from out of town stopping by and the traveling. You get the drift, I’m sure you all have your things keeping you busy. I have the next week off and should be getting back to our regularly scheduled programming after Christmas. Until then, here’s a sneak peak at my next infusion: same liquor three very different ways. It’s for a Christmas present so I’m keeping my lips sealed but I’ll give you all the juicy details soon. Happy Holidays!

Pumpkin-Infused Vodka

— Speaking of infusions, I decided to do something a little more bearable for Halloween (possibly the only actively Halloween-related thing I’m doing this year, as I’m not having a Halloween Party this year, and I’ve given up on all of the super-gimmicky Pumpkin beers this season). I took a look at a few recipes online but nothing really suited exactly what I was looking for (mostly due to limitations of finding certain whole spices in our crappy grocery stores in the area) so I kinda just winged it. We’ll see how it turns out on Friday.

I couldn’t find cardamom seeds anywhere, so ground cardamom had to do. This shit was ridiculously expensive. Price Chopper wanted $14.99 a bottle which is really unacceptable. I grabbed this bottle at Fresh Market for 8 bucks.

I always have Madagascar vanilla beans in the pantry which normally are really expensive, but I buy them through Amazon by the half pound for substantially cheaper than locally. I had some cinnamon sticks leftover from 30 Days to Dogfish Head Night, but had to grab some whole cloves and the pie pumpkin from the store, too. I’m a bit of a mason jar hoarder, so I grabbed a large Atlas jar from the basement.

After gutting and cutting the outside of the pumpkin (let’s be real I had Elise do that) I cut the pumpkin meat in cubes, split two vanilla beans, grabbed a teaspoon of cardamom, about 25 cloves (Merc is going to give me shit about this), two cinnamon sticks and tossed them all in the Atlas jar. I then filled it up to the top with vodka, leaving enough space up top to give it a good shake every once in a while. I didn’t measure exactly, but I ended up using about 4.5-5 cups of vodka to fill the jar. Here’s it all mixed up:

Since using the ground cardamon instead of cardamom pods, I’m going to have to use a coffee filter like with the Bacon Habenero Vodka to get some of the clarity back. And if I had a little more time last night, I would have probably roasted the pumpkin meat first, and I’ll probably do that next time. We’re planning on making a couple of pumpkin vodka based drinks with this on Friday. More pics of that when it happens.

Bacon Habanero-Infused Vodka

Bacon Habanero Infused Vodka

— Hey y’all. Remember when I posted this? Well that ended up turning into a little something I call Bacon Habenero-Infused Vodka. I didn’t end up using all of the peppers, but I did use the majority of them.

After cooking a few slices of bacon, and slicing the peppers but maintaining the spines and seeds as much I could, I patted down the bacon to get as much grease off (you’ll never get it all off) and infused the vodka for a few days with it. On the day that I was going to present it to my chili-head friend as his birthday gift, I took the the vodka out, washed down all of the bacon and chilies to get them as clean of fat as possible, and then I filtered the vodka through a coffee filter I screwed on top of a mason jar.

You can see there’s plenty of fat that needs to be taken out of the vodka. The filtering is definitely a must.

Yeah, it ain’t pretty, but if you like heat, you’d love the stuff. It got passed around Wayne’s birthday and pretty much every had a taste of it. Reactions went from Wayne thinking it was the best thing he’s ever drank, to “Hey, that’s got some heat, but that’s not bad” to “HOLY SHIT MY MOUTH IS ON FIRE”. Haha.

Last minute I tossed the chilies and bacon back in so it looked great for presentation.

I’m sure you could put this stuff to good use of than drinking it straight. Maybe a spicy chocolate martini or, while they aren’t my thing, a pretty killer Bloody Mary.