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.