Playing with pepper (and vodka)

 You might already know (or suspect) my fondness for peppercorn cocktails. So it was a pleasant surprise to receive a box containing a bottle of Karlsson’s Vodka, along with a Karlsson’s-branded bottle of black peppercorns.

I had to ask, what was the connection between vodka and pepper?

“The inspiration came from the founder, Peter Ekelund, who was accustomed to eating the potatoes with black pepper,” the PR rep explained. “After developing the vodka, he was inspired to try it on the rocks with some black pepper, thus creating their signature drink, the Black Gold.” More specifically, vodka with a grind of black pepper.

Frankly, I’m not a fan of ground black pepper in drinks — it makes for an unpleasantly gritty texture. But I tried my own variation (above) — vodka shaken with ice and whole peppercorns. It livened up the sweet vodka with a bit of peppery zing, but made it easy to leave the pepper at the bottom of the glass.

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6 thoughts on “Playing with pepper (and vodka)

  1. I’ve been experimenting with caraway seeds and peppercorns in regard to a specific vodka I received recently from a company in Sweden named Purity. I took about a pint of the purity vodka and added in a cheesecloth pouch, a pinch of caraway seeds (crushed) and some whole peppercorns, plus some lemon zest. What resulted is better than 99% of the flavored vodka on the market. Something truly fresh and invigorating! Drink it very cold with some home-made gravlax, sweet butter and brown bread.

    • The cheesecloth pouch sounds like a great idea – kind of like creating a bouquet garni for your cocktail! The caraway-peppercorn-lemon zest combo sounds divine.

  2. I’ve infused peppercorns in vodka, of course. For more immediate gratification however, try crushing the peppercorns, shake vigorously with the vodka, then double strain.
    By the way, Warren, I like your caraway combination.

    • Double-straining sounds like an excellent idea. I’ve only single-strained, and there’s always still a stray little tooth-cracker left in the drink. Thanks for the suggestion!

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