Thursday, May 22, 2008

A spicy blast from the past

After a long process of excavating the various piles of documents, scribblings, and gadgetry that adorn my science desk, I was able to recover the fossilized remains of the tasting notes we made in January, just before the blog went inactive. These notes reveal the results of the last few infusions of that period, which were completed but the results never posted. (Of course, we could have simply tasted them again - which we still did, so that I could write this with a fresh memory. But discovering the original notes for the write-up lends an element of closure to the experiments themselves.)

On Monday, we will present the results of the pear infused vodka experiment. Today's post concerns the other* "lost" experiment, our peppercorn vodka.

To recap the starting post of this experiment, we created our peppercorn vodka by pouring a shallow layer of whole peppercorns into a science jar, before pouring 750 mL of vodka over them. We sampled the vodka after two days, and decided it wasn't quite done and gave it another.

After three days, we conducted our official tasting. Wayland's reaction was quite clear. "That's got a burn! And not a vodka burn. That's very much a black pepper flavor. I think it's dead on, and very much a success."

"This vodka has a strong spice, but also an odd, slight sweetness," I wrote. "The pepper flavor comes through well, despite various warnings that the corns must be cracked, or that the flavor will be slimy."

It is possible that the vodka could have been made even better if we had in fact cracked the peppercorns before infusing them. It is also possible that this would have made the flavor too strong. Perhaps one day we will do a side-by-side test to see which method is preferable, but for now, we are quite satisfied by the product that resulted.

*Not counting the kiwifruit vodka experiment, which remains unresolved from our first hiatus. We hope to soon bring this one to a close also; I actually found some of the notes for this experiment as well, but I don't remember what happened to the vodka itself.


Snippet said...

I'd imagine this would go well with steak. Lots of steak.

Lucas said...

Would make a great Bloody Mary.

In fact.... tomato vodka.... celery vodka... Tabasco vodka....