Friday, June 8, 2007

Kicking vodka up a notch: Habanero Vodka

We Mad Scienticians are spice fiends. There really is nothing like the brief endorphin high that comes from really hot salsa or chicken wings, and it's legal to boot. Therefore, three months ago, we conducted an experiment in creating jalapeño-infused vodka. Though we do enjoy the heat, we were a bit wary of it at the time, not knowing exactly what to expect from it. As it turned out, it had a good kick to it, but was still relatively mild. Though we've used the jalapeño vodka in a few drinks, we primarily use it as a marinade.

This week, we decided to try pushing the limits a little further, and picked up a few habanero peppers to infuse. Habaneros are the hottest chili peppers generally available to most consumers, with a Scoville rating of 100,000 to 350,000 Scoville units (a measure of a pepper's heat). In contrast, jalapeño peppers rate 2,500 to 8,000 Scoville units. Pure capsaicin, the chemical which causes the heat sensation, rates 16 million Scoville units, the maximum rating possible.

We infused the vodka with four habanero peppers of various colors. (We purchased five, but had to discard one of the yellow ones; it was a bit squishy for our tastes.)



I cut each habanero in half, just like we did with the jalapeño vodka. Notice that we used twice as many peppers for this infusion than for the jalapeño.



This will be another fast infusion; the jalapeño vodka only took three days.

13 comments:

Scott said...

Get ready for liquid fire. I grow habaneros in my backyard, so I know just how good they can be..

yDNA said...

A lot of the heat is in the seeds. You want some fire? Grind up the seeds, boys.

Lord Inquisitor said...

I suggest you try using Naga chiles if you can get them.

shila said...

Hmmm...I want to make this! How long do you suggest infusing them?

Anonymous said...

I infused 10 habeneros for about 36 hours... It caused some serious burn... but was loved... I am gonna experiment

Creamy Distortion said...

Try this out...

1 shot Habanero Vodka
5 big dashes bitters
half a shot lime juice
fill with ice, muddle and mix with Crannberry juice.

KRUNK!!!!

Really good stuff, works great in bloody marys too, I'm thinking a martini would be good with a lot of Vermuth and sipped really slowly.

Aaron said...

Hot Pickle!!

3/4 shot Habenero Vodka
1/4 shot pickle juice
garnish with a pickle wedge

Sounds weird, but it is amazingly good!

Chris Weiss said...

I'm guessing you've since learned not to cut Habaneros bare-handed?

tzzhc4 said...

I tried this with 3 scotch bonnets de-seeded and diced. Only took about 16 hours until it had a nice heat and a great taste. My only advice is test it daily and remove the peppers once you like the taste.

Anonymous said...

I infused on liter of vodka with 9 habeneros for 2 weeks. I use it to clean my bathroom. I wear a respirator and goggles.

Brendan said...

Ha!

Captain Infinity said...

Have you tried The Merciless Peppers of Quetzalacatenango? Grown deep in the jungle primeval by the inmates of a Guatemalan insane asylum.

Brendan said...

I hear they're a 16,000,009 on the Scoville Scale.