Wednesday, July 11, 2012

habanero and bacon infused vodka + bloody marys

hellooooo. hi, it seems i have been slackin.

it's summer. i think you'll understand.

on most days, you choose to go about your life routines, everything feels normal and you are totally your responsible self and doing the things you need to do. these life routines totally keep my brain in check.

i ride my bike to work in the early morn. when the air is dewy and i can zig zag all over the place without being hit by a school bus.
i work. i rarely take a lunch break, i get flour everywhere. when i cut myself, it's usually while i chop bacon. it's too dang slippery.
i ride my bike home. i dodge the big hills. everyday i lose balance and almost fall once.

i eat everything in sight when i get home. i rip off my chef coat and black pants. i revert into boxers. i avoid humans.

many days i go grocery shopping. i spend too much time on the computer. i watch brainless trashy tv while exercising.
i get excited about food. i make food. i spend hours up at night writing this blog.

and then a serious thing happens.
it's heavy, it shocks your system.  it interrupts all the normal. it makes you scared and sad.

these are the times it becomes clear that sometimes you must, Must, chuck all this routine stuff over your shoulder. and do something else.

we need to harness some positive energy. and when i say we, i mean i do.

so i've been trying.

and summer makes it easier. with it's light, balmy nights.
yesterday i went out, picked a random brick ledge, sat on it, and read my book.

i've been riding my bike just to ride. i've been buying more flowers just to have flowers.

i've been going up onto my roof to sit. i wrote a letter to my future self.

i went to the hollywood bowl. with the people that make my life feel good. we ate olives, we swayed and took in the night. it felt like a night vacation. the trees looked beautiful.

and while none of this stuff is erasing the crummy, serious stuff, i think it's helping. i'm forcing the good things to slap me in the face and remind me to appreciate, love, and enjoy.

and if i'm still down, if i just don't care about the yellow flowers or have the focus to read words on a page, there is always the kitchen, and a good stiff drink.

and no ho hum drink, i am trying to break routines and throw away the normal here, aren't i..

habanero and bacon infused vodka. infused for six days.
do you hear me? i'm giving you bacon and booze together.

then, bloody marys.

bloody marys are not my normal. i'm one who tends toward the mimosa route at brunch. but bloody marys and i have been making slow progress.
i felt it was finally time to try making them myself.
so i crisped up bacon. sliced habaneros with complete caution. and got to infusing.

my plan was to make the best bloody mary i could muster, and then i could finally pass judgement on whether i was a bloody mary person, or just not.

wanna know what happened?
they were phenomenal.
they were full of not-watered-down flavor.
i made mine spicy as heck, which i loved.

they made for a good morning.
which lead to a good day.
which is all i want really.

Habanero and Bacon Infused Vodka
adapted from kitchen konfidence via Croce's Restaurant and Jazz Bar

5 strips of bacon
3 habanero chilis
1 serrano chili
about 1 liter of vodka

cook bacon in a dry skillet until very crispy. transfer to a paper towel lined plate and cool. 
remove stems from the chilis and slice in half. add them to a large jar with the cooled bacon. fill the jar with the vodka, making sure the peppers and bacon are completely covered. seal the jar and let steep for 6 days in the refrigerator. (if you want it less spicy you can steep it for a shorter amount of days)
after 6 days, strain the vodka through a cheesecloth lined fine mesh strainer into a clean jar or bowl. make sure you don't see any floating particles left in the vodka, if there are, strain a second time. alternately you can strain through a coffee filter, as i did, and it worked wonderfully. 

The Habanero and Bacon Bloody Mary

3 cups tomato juice
3 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
3 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
1 tbsp worcestershire
1 tsp finely minced garlic
1 tsp prepared horseradish
fine grain sea salt
fresh black pepper
bacon and habanero infused vodka
olives and olive juice

add tomato juice, lemon juice, lime juice, worcestershire, garlic, and horseradish to a food processor or blender. process until smooth and combined. season to taste with sea salt and black pepper, pulsing to incorporate. transfer to a pitcher and set aside.
fill glasses with ice. add desired ratio of vodka and bloody mary mix..about 1/3 vodka and 2/3 bloody mary mix. stir well. taste, and add tabasco, olive juice, or extra seasoning if desired. garnish with a celery stalk, pepperoncinis, and olives. drink up. 


  1. I've been following your blog for quite a while, and think your recipes and joie de vivre are phenomenal. Sorry to hear things are in a funk. Hope it gets better sooner than later.

  2. ah Hello! you are a darling, thank you, that means more than you know

  3. hi julia. thank you for this recipe and the work you do. i hope all is well with you.

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