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Horseradish Vodka

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All great successes start with a failure or two.  This particular project evolved over the course of two years and three trips out to the dust at Burning Man.  It started with my corruption by the folks at Bloody Maryland, a theme camp dedicated to serving the best Bloody Mary on the playa.  They made me the first Bloody Mary I ever liked.  Sadly, they only come out every other year; so the next year I planned on keeping our corner of the playa supplied with Bloody Marys.  I over-prepared, and bought a pound of organic horseradish at Whole Foods which I pre-grated with a zester and stored in a mason jar.  Needless to say, I'd brought too much horseradish; and eventually a large portion of it went bad after surviving the trip there and back again.  There had to be a better way... 

Infusions!  If I infuse my vodka with horseradish I'll have less to pack and transport, and it won't go bad.  Now the experimentation began, because I had no idea whether a horseradish vodka infusion would work.  There were some hits and misses, but in the end horseradish vodka was born, along with its companion "The Playa Mary".

To make horseradish vodka, you need two simple ingredients:
  • Fresh horseradish root.  (Whole Foods, Farmer Joe's, and I imagine other stores.)
  • Cheap unflavored vodka.  (Imperfections of cheap vodka will be obliterated by the horseradish, so I buy whatever is on sale.)
And a small handful of tools:
  • A blender or fine grater.
  • A couple of intermediate containers, preferably glass.  One should have a resealable lid, like a mason jar.
  • Coffee filters.
  • A funnel or two.  I used a standard funnel and a canning funnel.
  • A scale.
  • A knife.
  • Coffee Press (optional, but I recommend it)
  • Zip-It Drain Cleaning Tool
The amount of horseradish to vodka is a matter of personal taste.  The next page will try to address varying ratios.
 
 
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Animeoni 5 months ago
I have tried black pepper infused vodka and it was surprisingly hot. We could only use a small amount in our Bloody Mary's. Just something to think about when you infuse your batch.
ChrisKnight (author)  Animeoni 5 months ago

Thanks, I'll keep that in mind. If I go too strong, I can always dilute. If I go to weak, I'll have to make another run at it; which will eat more time.

NetWt4Lbs6 months ago
Ya know I was thinking of using black pepper infused vodka for bloody Mary's, but this sounds awesome too!
Have you made other infused drinks as well??
ChrisKnight (author)  NetWt4Lbs6 months ago
Previously I had done a lot of fruit infusions in vodka, both straight and sweetened. Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and even ginger; and they all worked out well. More recently I've been exploring the savory side. Besides the horseradish, I've also done organic wasabi vodka, and as soon as my order of Black Tellicherry Peppercorns comes in I'm going to try infusing those.

I'm re-working the filtering section of the doc, using new pictures from a batch I'm finishing up tonight. I should have the revisions posted tonight.
Squige 6 months ago
Why would you make horseradish vodka
ChrisKnight (author)  Squige 6 months ago
My apologies, I guess I was a little too verbose in the intro paragraph.  Allow me to summarize:
  1. It's awesome!
  2. It makes an amazing Bloody Mary
  3. It's awesome!
  4. I like spicy/hot foods and drinks
  5. It's awesome!
  6. It doesn't spoil at room temp, like grated horseradish
  7. It's awesome!
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