Saturday, December 22, 2012

I feel like Sandra Lee!

It's true!  I got bored and combined store-bought ingredients (vodka) with some fresh ingredients (cinnamon sticks and vanilla beans) and BAM!  I somehow ended up with Aftershock.  

The Devil
For real.  If you're not British, you're probably not all that familiar with this syrupy, cinnamon liqueur, but I remember ferreting it back from London for my little brother-in-law out in Australia.  It's expensive as hell in the UK (£26), and I recently found it here stateside (B and his little brother were thrilled) for about $20, but I was aftershocked (wah wah) by how similar this ended up tasting!

Aftershock is no joke.  It makes you do questionable things.  Like take another shot of Aftershock...

Look how happy everyone looks before the Aftershock! 
And I think the Bean's face says it all...This was her first shot of Aftershock ever.

It's really not a terribly difficult concept, but I'll tell you, what, little bottles of flavoured liquor certainly do impress!  Basically, you take a bottle of vodka (I used this because it's clear and takes on other flavours really well) and stick in some of whatever flavour you want.  I did this cinnamon vanilla bean one, thinking it would be a nice addition to egg nog, and a spicy chili one, which makes a great shot or a delicious addition to Bloody Marys (and helped me to utilize the heaps of cayenne peppers and serranos that our garden was kicking out).

One thing that surprised me was how quickly the cinnamon and vanilla bean turned the clear vodka into a caramel bourbon colour (this change started immediately, and piqued about 36 hours later):

Still, my favourite is the chili vodka, because I love that you can see the peppers and I love how it elevates a regular Bloody Mary.  Plus, it looks fantastic in smaller bottles as a gift.

I think the possibilities for this are limitless, and I definitely want to make a Meyer lemon or Satsuma variety now that citrus is in season.  Let's not lie, I'm probably going to make a Jolly Rancher or Sour Patch Kids infused vodka any day now as well.  :/  The funny thing is that I don't like vodka.  I have friends that drink vodka tonics, vodka waters, etc. and it makes my stomach turn.  It tastes like paint stripper to me on its own, but the flavours definitely make it tolerable and, dare I say, enjoyable?  Well, I still wouldn't choose to drink it on its own, but it's definitely great for cocktails.

Bottoms up!

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