I can go two ways with the Bloody Mary: savory or spicy. In the savory recipe, I add lemon or lime juice plus a splash of olive brine from the jar and a tiny pinch of celery salt. In the spicy formulation I add hot ingredients to the drink or better yet, use a spicy infused vodka.
Infusing spirits is incredibly easy: add the ingredients to the spirit, wait, and taste. The easiest infusions to execute are ingredients that don’t spoil like dried spices, herbs, and citrus zest. With fresh herbs, fruits, and other ingredients that go off, you’ll need to be more careful that they don’t do so in your jar.
Luckily, most spicy ingredients infuse fast and don’t require supervision. Here are some tips for a 24-hour vodka infusion that will make tomorrow’s Bloody Mary hot and delicious.
Spicy Vodka Infusion
- To one bottle of vodka, plan to infuse about 15 pepperoncinis, 3 jalapeno peppers, 6 red chili peppers, 3 tablespoons of whole black peppercorns, half a cup of horseradish or wasabi paste, or any combination of the above. (Wash, de-stem, and coarsely chop up the peppers before infusing.)
- Add ingredients to a jar and cover with vodka. Cover the jar and store in a cool, dark place or inside the refrigerator. Wait 24 hours.
- Test the infusion to see if it is spicy enough. If so, filter out the solids and use when desired. If not, wait a day and test again. If it’s too spicy, add more plain vodka to dilute the heat before serving.
Then use your favorite Bloody Mary Recipe with the infused vodka. I like to make several different spicy infusions, and mix them into the drink- you can taste each spice separately in the final cocktail.