Contrary to whatever assumptions are made from the photos above, the idea for this drink didn't come while in an altered state. Instead, I happened to be listening to a cooking show on National Public Radio, and a caller brought up infusing vodka with Thai chili peppers. That's when I got the bright idea to try this at home, except with ghost peppers. I did a little research, and here's the basic recipe I came up with:
- One liter of vodka of decent but not too high quality. The top shelf stuff has its own flavor, and the point of infusing vodka is to make the flavor your own.
- Two ghost peppers, ribbed and seeded. Dried peppers work better.
- Two to three inches of fresh ginger.
- Two limes, using only the rind of the lime.
...something resembling a portal to the netherworld had been opened in my basement, and I think I saw one of H.P. Lovecraft's Great Old Ones trying to break through the last membrane of reality. I quickly read an incantation from my pocket-sized Necronomicon and brought the vodka back upstairs to run through a strainer. That seemed to do the trick, although I did strain the stuff twice and a few of my friends who took a sip tell me I ought to thin it out with another liter.
(One of them also claims to hear voices whispering in a heretofore unknown language, and when he looks in the mirror he suspects he might be turning into the very monster that he fears most. So maybe the incantation didn't quite work. Oh well; I'll be infusing more vodka soon anyway.)
What I have in my fridge now is so potent that even I can't take a shot. The one time (ok, twice) I was foolish enough to try and drink it straight, I had to take tiny sips over the course of a half hour. The next logical step would be to mix it with tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, cheese cubes, pickles, and olives for a bloody Mary. Since the spiciness, ginger, and lime just might be a bottled and fermented version of Southeast Asia, and since all of the ingredients were grown or purchased in north Minneapolis, "The Bloody Laowry" seemed an appropriate portmanteau.
Ah, but how does it taste? A shot of the infused vodka mixed with a tumbler of tomato juice and your other preferred Bloody Mary ingredients (minus the black pepper. Trust me, this has plenty.) make an impressively hot, but rather drinkable concoction. If you've ever wanted a beverage that gives you the feeling that you could single-handedly take on the world, but doesn't wait until the morning after to make you want to lie down and reconsider nearly every aspect of your life, then this is the drink for you.
And for me as well. In fact, I think I'll have another one. Those voices in the basement aren't getting any quieter.