Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Jalapeño Gojira!

Most of the images in our archives are not appearing right now. We host our images and other files on a separate site, which is currently down while we switch domain registrars. For this post, we're hosting our images on an emergency Photobucket account, but our archives are text-only for the moment. Everything should be back in working order soon.

Though many of our infused vodka experiments turn out to be one-time gigs, we use a number of them regularly, and must periodically replenish our supplies. Recently, we began a new batch of our jalapeño vodka, which we use often as a marinade.

We normally infuse our jalapeño vodka for three days. This is sufficient to give the vodka a crisp, smooth flavor, reminiscent of green bell peppers, followed up by a substantial but not overwhelming kick of heat. This time, however, though I marked the date we begun the infusion on our calendar, I forgot to add an end-date reminder. As such, the vodka was neglected in an obscure cabinet in our laboratory -- for eleven days. Though it doesn't show very well in the below photo, the vodka had attained a pale but noticeable green color, which had never appeared in previous batches.

Of course, when we finally discovered it, we weren't going to give it up as a lost cause. We Mad Scienticians are well established as capsaicin addicts, and were intrigued by the over-infused vodka. We decided to sample it that night.

Amazingly, the vodka was still quite drinkable. "This has a hell of a burn on the back end," wrote Wayland, "but it's not too bad. It's probably still milder than our habanero vodka."

"It still has the same jalapeño flavor, without tasting overdone," I wrote, "but the heat is kicked up significantly."

We soon realized that of all the infusions we have created, jalapeño might be the only one that is time-scalable. Most infusions have a peak where they have attained the strongest and most faithful flavor from its ingredient, after which it descends (some gradually, others very quickly) into ruin. Jalapeño vodka may yet have its breaking point as well, but it seems that its creator can adjust their infusion time, depending on how much heat they prefer, without adversely affecting the flavor or overall quality.

Wayland noted, however, that "I can definitely feel the burn in my stomach after all is said and done."

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Interesting. It seems to me that it works like all the others, it just happens that in this case one may prefer less "flavor". I wonder if there are other "flavors" that would work like that.

Also, I think that a list of the ideal infusion times for all of your various flavors would be nice. I would certiantly appreciate it.