Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Bam! Habanero vodka results

Today's post is dedicated to the loving memory of Don Herbert, a.k.a. Mr. Wizard.

After three days of infusion, our habanero vodka experiment was ready for tasting. We invited our friend Jason, a fellow capsaicin addict, to the lab to sample it with us.

A few things to keep in mind regarding this infusion:

  • We have previously created jalapeño infused vodka. That infusion was fairly spicy on the back end, though not overwhelming.
  • Habanero peppers are around 40 times hotter than jalapeños, according to the Scoville scale.
  • We used four habanero peppers, as opposed to the two jalapeño peppers from the previous infusion.
  • Both infusions ran for the same amount of time.

These factors should give you an indication of just how hot we were expecting this vodka to be. As much as we love spicy foods, the only one who was not at least little nervous about it was Jason.

It didn't seem fair to make anyone go first, so we poured three shots and sampled them all at once.

In the eloquent words of Professor Hubert Farnsworth, "Oh my, yes."

The vodka knocks you for a loop, but not maliciously. It's actually quite bearable, if you enjoy heat; though if you're not a fan of capsaicin, I would suggest steering clear. The heat is significantly more intense than the jalapeño vodka, hits more quickly (though not immediately) and sticks around longer. Beneath the heat, the vodka has a crisp, almost sweet flavor.

"It starts out pretty smooth," Wayland remarked. "Actually, for the first two seconds, it didn't seem like it was going to be spicy. Then it grows past mild to a pretty strong burning sensation." He added that you would pay the next morning if you had several shots.

We consider this experiment to be very much a success. We're excited about the possibilities for using the habanero vodka, though we have not created any cocktails (or marinades) with it as of yet.


yDNA said...

I just want to tell you guys that I'm really loving the scientician approach to this whole subject. It wouldn't even have to be about vodka infusions. The balanced and consistent application of the scientician philosophy and ethics really hooked me. It shows that there's hope for our species. And it doesn't hurt that it's all a bit funny too. Thank you.

I raise my shot glass to you both.

Scott said...

That's completely and utterly awesome. I'm going out in the backyard tomorrow and getting a bunch of habañeros to make my own..

Lindsey said...

Andina, bar/restaurant in the Pearl District of Portland, OR, uses habanero infused vodka in a martini mixed with passion fruit and they are fantastic.

Anonymous said...

It hurts in a good way.
"Feel the Burn" and enjoy it

Anonymous said...

We had some Bloody Marys with Habanero and Garlic infused vodka at a resturant in Houston last weekend... Just started by own batch this afternoon...

Unknown said...

Vault in the Pearl District in Portland, OR has a Pineapple/Habenero vodka Infusion that is a perfect balance of tang and heat. I'm making my own and at 2 days in I can already feel the burn.

so you think you can eat said...

Blonde Bistro in Grants Pass, OR has a Passion Fruit/Habanero martini that is to die for. Habanero vodka, top shelf vodka, simple syrup and passion fruit puree. I plan on trying to make it at home. Thanks for your research!

Profounder said...

I was seeing if you'd done this out of curiosity. I made some habañero infused vodka. We ended up calling it Chuck Norris Superstar because it felt like a punch through the rib cage into the heart. We've yet to find anyone who it is unable to devastate. I'll add the hottest habañero sauce to my food, but this stuff just extracted the pure possible pain and sharpened it to a razor edge. Maybe it's that we infused our vodka for months that made the difference.

Mustgetoutmore said...

Just found your site while looking for skittles vodka recipes!
recently tried Wasabi vodka - a commercial drink being previewed at a drink's show in London.
Perhaps you should be marketing your infusions??
I think I'll try this only with a little less Habanero...
Will keep a look out on your site for ideas

Anonymous said...

I have 3 little habs waiting to infuse a bottle of vodka. I was inspired by a habanero-infused vodka martini whilst visiting Santa Barbara. It was called an "Inferno Martini". It also contained passionfruit and agave nectar. Would anyone have an exact recipe? I want to get the ratios in this drink just right. Thanks!