Now, it’s pretty rare I experience an entirely new flavor sensation, but man-o-man, this drink blew my mind. First discovered when checking out the amazing restaurant, Miya’s Sushi in New Haven, Connecticut a few years ago. I ordered their cocktail called ‘Bonobo Juice’, made from ‘Chinese Firecracker sake, soda water and lots of fresh limes’. I even bought a small bottle of their Firecrakcer sake another time, made in house, but at $25 or so for a small bottle, it’s not something I can afford so often. Now that I live in Berlin, it’s REALLY not something I can afford so often! 😉
I was on a mission. I set out to recreate this drink myself and do that I did! Mine is obviously not made from sake, it’s from our old friend vodka, but I think my drink fulfills the same craving, is cheaper and pretty damn close!
I picked up a package of chili peppers from my local Asian market, bought a bottle of the second (third if I’m feeling fancy) cheapest vodka (dear god don’t buy the cheapest bottle) and off I went. The process was somewhat anti-climatic really. You’d think for a drink with such a punch the creation of it would be a bit more exciting. Ah well, that means anyone can do it! This is how:

Chili-Infused Vodka

– 1 bottle vodka
– 1/2 -3/4 cup chilis of choice (depends on your bravery)

I’m actually not even sure what kind of chilies I used, so just go with your favorite! I just grabbed the basic ones they had in the refrigerated section of my local Asian Market. Thai Sweet Chilies, Jalapeños, Habanero peppers, go for it!
Rinse the chilies and pull off the green stems. Open the vodka. Put the chilies in it, this will probably have to happen one at a time. The amount of chilies you put depends on your spicy tolerance. The first time I out a whole package of chilies in one bottle and it was delicious, but I think my friends wanted to kill me. Close the vodka bottle and keep somewhere room temperature and relatively dark for a month. I know, waiting is hard. The vodka will probably turn a bit more chili-colored, that’s fine. After a month, you’re ready! It can also sit much longer than that. The first batch I made at for 8 months because we kept waiting for the right moment to break it out.
Now for the best cocktail of your life (if you like spicy things). I am not brave enough to do shots of this, but you can do that too if you’d like.

Firecracker Cocktail

– 1 part chili vodka
– 1 part lime juice
– 3 parts Sprite or your lemon-lime soda of choice
– 1/2 – 1 Tbsp lime syrup
– ice

Fill the glass with as much ice as you want. Add the Sprite, lime juice (with limes if you’d like), lime syrup and chili vodka (with a chili or two in there for fanciness!). Give it a quick stir. Drink. Adjust the ingredients to your liking.
Watch out when feeding to your European friends because they are not used to spiciness and might die (or maybe that’s just my friends, hi guys, I love you anyway!).
Seriously, new flavor sensation. I might have to start day drinking right now. Good thing it’s a holiday today in Berlin! Did I mention I’m growing Thai Sweet Chilies and Jalapeño peppers on my balcony? I’m excited.
Must. Infuse. All. Vodka.