Horseradish vodka carries a nice dose of that distinctive tingly hot horseradish flavor. The simple steeping technique used here allows you to decide how strong you want the horseradish flavor to be, so taste as it steeps and decide if you want just a hint or eye-watering power.
Use the resulting Horseradish Vodka in Bloody Marys or other cocktails that could stand a kick in the pants, or simply sip it as an ice-cold shot with a snack of high-quality pickles (Pickled Green Beans and Spicy Pickled Garlic are two particularly fine choices). It is also an excellent way to "preserve" fresh horseradish - or at least its robust, addictive flavor from one season to the next.
- 1 bottle/750 mL vodka*
- 1 piece (about 3 inches) fresh horseradish
- There are two ways to starts: either pour the vodka into a clean, large glass container or empty an inch or two from the bottle it's already in. Note that if you infuse the vodka in its original bottle you will need to decant it into another bottle when the infusion is complete.
- Peel the horseradish and cut it into 6 slices about 1/2-inch thick each. Add the horseradish slices to the vodka.
- Seal the bottle or container and let the vodka steep for at least 3 days and up to 1 month (I've found that if I leave the horseradish in there after that long, it can start to give the vodka a slightly bitter flavor, so it really is worth decanting it even if you love the kicky heat of horseradish). Taste it every once and awhile; when the strength of the horseradish flavor is as much as you like, either remove the horseradish slices or strain the vodka into a clean container.
- You can start using the vodka as soon as you like, but the flavor will mellow and soften with time. Depending on how much you like that "kick" of horseradish, this is either a pleasant or disappointing fact. Store the vodka in the liquor cabinet or in the freezer, depending on how you plan to serve it.
*What kind of vodka? Well, once it soaks up the horseradish flavor, any subtle aspects of its original flavor or refined lack thereof will be lost, so there's no reason to break the bank when you buy a bottle to infuse. That said, you are going to be drinking this (and we all know that higher quality liquor tends to have slightly less hangover-producing powers), so I wouldn't go full-on bargain basement here. Be sure to choose something that you would happily drink on its own.