- 1½ tablespoons slightly cracked black peppercorns
- 750mL vodka
- Two large, clean bottles or jars
- Cheesecloth or other fine strainer
- Slightly crack the black peppercorns by muddling.
- In a large, clean bottle or jar, add the black peppercorns and vodka.
- Cap tightly, then gently shake to mix the infusion.
- Store in a cool, dark place for approximately three to four days, gently shaking the infusion each day.
- As the time ends, sample the flavors by pouring the infusion into a glass. Allow the peppercorn and vodka to steep together longer if you want more flavor.
- Carefully remove peppercorns and discard.
- Funnel the infused vodka into the second clean bottle, filtering with the cheesecloth.
- Carefully seal and store in a cool, dry place.
You can use the infused pepper vodka right away. You can store any unused vodka in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark place for approximately one to two years before the flavor begins to dwindle. Discard when the flavor starts to fade or tastes "off."
Variations of Pepper-infused Vodka
Make your pepper-infused vodka the one of your dreams by adding a few flavor pairings or using other pepper flavors.
- Skip the black peppercorns and get your infused heat from chili peppers, taking care to limit yourself to one chili pepper per bottle of vodka until you know how much heat you desire.
- Use pink or white cracked peppercorns in place of black peppercorns in your pepper infusion.
- Give your vodka a complex touch with two to three sprigs of basil, rosemary, thyme, whole cinnamon sticks, or a tablespoon of cloves.
- Include a cup of pitted and sliced apricots, peeled and chopped pineapple, hulled and sliced strawberries, or two to three whole, sliced lemons or limes.
- Keep it savory by adding two to three whole, peeled cloves of garlic, either halved or sliced.
Pepper-infused Vodka Cocktails
Pepper vodka gives cocktails a beautiful heat, so why not see what fiery recipes you can stir up?
Peppered Bloody Mary
- 2½ ounces pepper-infused vodka
- 4 ounces tomato juice
- ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ ounce pickle brine
- ¼ ounce horseradish
- 2 dashes Worcestershire
- 2 dashes Italian seasoning
- Celery stalk and pickle spear for garnish
Chili Mint Smash
Give your usual smash drink a spicy upgrade with chili pepper vodka.
- Three to five fresh mint leaves
- One to two lemon wedges
- 1½ ounces chili pepper-infused vodka
- ¾ ounce simple syrup
- ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- Club soda to top off
- Chili pepper and lime wedge for garnish
- In a cocktail shaker, muddle mint leaves and lemon wedges with simple syrup.
- Add ice, chili pepper vodka, and lime juice.
- Shake to chill.
- Pour -- do not strain -- into rocks glass.
- Top off with club soda.
- Garnish with chili pepper and lime wedge.
Peppery Pineapple Potion
So it's not quite a potion, but this pepper vodka and pineapple juice cocktail might convince you that jalapeño vodka isn't the only way to add a little heat.
- 2 ounces pepper-infused vodka
- 4 ounces pineapple juice
- ½ ounce simple syrup
- ¼ ounce cream of coconut
- Pineapple wedge for garnish
- In a cocktail shaker, add ice, pepper vodka, pineapple juice, simple syrup, and cream of coconut.
- Shake to chill.
- Strain into highball glass over fresh ice.
- Garnish with pineapple wedge.
Strawberry Black Pepper Tonic
Keep it simple. You can always muddle some strawberries if you want; otherwise, let the ice do the mixing for you.
- 1½ ounces pepper-infused vodka
- ¾ ounce strawberry liqueur
- ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Tonic water to top off
- Strawberry for garnish
- In a cocktail shaker, add ice, pepper vodka, strawberry liqueur, and lemon juice.
- Shake to chill.
- Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
- Top off with tonic water.
- Garnish with strawberry.
Mixers for Pepper Vodka Drinks
Skip the cocktails with too many steps by adding a splash of a mixer (or a few splashes) to craft your own pepper cocktail.
- Bloody Mary mix
- Tomato juice
- Club soda
- Flavored club soda such as lemon, lime, cherry, orange, or strawberry
- Cherry juice
- Simple syrup
- Pineapple juice
- Lemon juice
- Lime juice
- Cardamom tea
Pepper-infused Vodka to Add a Little Pep
Skip the jalapeño peppers and give your vodka a little heat with peppercorns, or go a little off the usual path with chili peppers. However you decide to infuse, a little bit of heat goes a long way. Just have those fire emojis at the ready.