Thursday, December 23, 2010
Belly Warming Beverages: Horseradish Vodka
Ahhh... Upstate New York in mid-December... Isn't the weather grand? Don't you just want to put on short pants and frolic in the park, singing tra-la-la?
I am, of course, joking (although I do look very nice in short pants). The weather of our beloved home this time of year (and for the next two and a half months) is decidedly bleak. The local weather is a cold, gray, humorless bitch of a situation. Because of this, you may find the occasional need for a warming tincture to gird your loins and put the fire in your belly before venturing out into the cold night for an evening of merry wassailing.
Usually I go with my delicious Aged Egg Nog (click for the controversial recipe). However, this year I did not have the time to go a-gathering the ingredients. I usually like to start me nog off around Thanksgiving, but just didn't have the time this particular annum.
To prevent the absence of a festive winter beverage next year, I decided to set a good ol' bottle of horseradish vodka to aging. Horseradish vodka is an ancient Slavic standby and is deemed perfect for keeping away the nip of winter. It is very easy to make, the hardest part being patience.
You start with a nice big horseradish root. Trust me on this, do not use bottled stuff.
Is it any wonder that the slavic word for horseradish (xрен, in Russian at least, pronounced "xren" in English) is a euphemism for a certain part of the male anatomy? Anyways, scrub well and chop the root into large sticks. Also get some good flower honey and a few black peppercorns.
I am using Luksusowa for the vodka. Luksusowa is a reasonably priced Polish vodka that is still actually made from potatoes. You don't really need to use anything too pricey for this recipe.
Pour a little of the vodka down your gullet to make room for the ingredients. Shove the horseradish in the bottle, add 5 or 6 peppercorns, and about a half cup of honey for this size bottle. Shake the bottle some to dissolve the honey.
That is pretty much all she wrote. The vodka will be good in about 3 months, but a year or more is best. I am planning on cracking this bottle open just about this time next year. We shall see if this happens. I expect a nip or two may go missing in the interim.
Anyhow, Mrs. Dave, young Lady Giblet, and I all wish for you to have a wonderful and safe holiday season. Celebrate the solstice heartily, with good friends and good food. You never know, if the spirits aren't appeased with your merriment, spring might never come back.