Saturday, October 23, 2010

Golden chilli saffron vodka

I had a glut of chillis this year, mainly very hot Paper Lanterns - a sort of Habanero.

Some are drying, some have been chopped up, blitzed and frozen in the ice-making tray.

But this was a worthwhile experiment.


70cl bottle of vodka (I used Smirnoff Red Label rather than supermarket)

Three hot red chillis

Large pinch of saffron strands


  • Cut the stalks from the chillis, slice in half and remove the seeds. Be careful not to touch your face or other sensitive areas after cutting chillis - wearing rubber or latex gloves is a good precaution.
  • Open the vodka bottle and push the chilli pieces and saffron down inside.
  • Close the bottle and leave in a dark place for 3 weeks, giving it the occasional gentle shake. The vodka will take on a rich golden yellow colour - the more saffron, the more golden the finished product.
  • Strain the contents of the bottle into a jug through a piece of muslin. Discard the old saffron strands, and remove the chilli pieces from the bottle (I had to tease them out with a skewer).
  • Pour the golden vodka back into the bottle (use a funnel to avoid any wastage).
  • Freeze the bottle.
  • To serve: pour into small shot glasses and knock back in one. Throwing the shot glasses over your shoulder into the fireplace is entirely optional.

The colour is glorious, the taste is like honeyed rocket fuel with a vanilla finish.

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