Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Dirty Cur Cocktail

This is one I came up with after making my own black pepper-infused vodka, and I have to say it is pretty effing good. On its own, the black pepper vodka is intense - extremely peppery - but its flavor suggests that in the right combinations, it could be an excellent addition to a variety of cocktails.

The Dirty Cur is basically a riff on the Salty Dog (which is vodka and grapefruit juice, over rocks in a glass with a salted rim). The difference is the flavor of black pepper vodka.

First of all, you need to make your infusion. It's pretty easy:

Black Peppercorn-Infused Vodka
  1. In a two-cup mason jar, add a handful of coarsely cracked black peppercorns.
  2. Fill with good-quality vodka (when I say good quality, imagine drinking it ice-cold by itself).
  3. Cover and let sit in a cool, dark place for no longer than 24 hours. It gets too intense quickly after that. 
  4. After the 24-hour period, strain the vodka into a clean pint bottle or a mason jar - and put it in the freezer. It will be the color of a dark rum.
  5. Let it mellow another day, and it's ready to drink.
When it is ice-cold, you can drink the infused vodka on its own, as the Russians do. You'll be surprised how tasty it is!

So, now you have your black pepper-infused vodka. It's time to concoct the Dirty Cur:

The Dirty Cur Cocktail

2 oz Black peppercorn-infused vodka
4-6 oz Fresh-squeezed pink grapefruit juice
Garnish: lime wheel

First, the rim job: To salt the rim of your highball glass, rub it with a lime wedge (gently, so you don't get the side of the glass all sticky), then dip it into a dish of coarse salt. Go easy, you don't want a rim that is too thickly encrusted...

After salting the rim, add ice to the glass, along with the vodka and the juice. Stir to mix, add the lime garnish, and enjoy the Dirty Cur. Bottoms up.

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