Makers of Hunter’s Vodka—a spice-infused spirit with myriad approaches to the recipe—have aimed high and low for flavorful flair, from kitchen cabinets to wintery woodlands. “I’ve seen everything from infusions focused on scents of the forest floor to straight-up baking-spice elements,” says Israel Morales, bar director and co-owner of Kachka in Portland, Oregon. “Our infusion straddles those two styles.” Morales and his wife, Kachka co-owner and chef Bonnie Morales, styled their adaptation after the homemade versions sampled in homes and restaurants in Russia and Belarus. Spiced with whole peppercorns, juniper and cloves, it’s an aromatic vodka that conjures up a woodsy whiff. Try using your next batch to make Kachka’s Chervona Wine cocktail.
1½ tsp. whole allspice berries
1½ tsp. juniper berries
½ tsp. whole black peppercorns
½ tsp. whole coriander seeds
½ tsp. whole fenugreek seeds
1 stick cinnamon
1 blade of dried star anise
1 whole clove
1 750 ml. bottle of vodka
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
Tools: small skillet, quart-size jar, fine-mesh strainer, funnel
In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the allspice, juniper, peppercorns, coriander, fenugreek, cinnamon, star anise and clove, stirring until aromatic (1-2 minutes). Place the spices in a quart-size jar and add the vodka. (Save the vodka bottle for the finished infusion.) Seal the jar and let the mixture steep for 4 days in a dark, cool place. When the infusion is ready, pour the maple syrup into the reserved vodka bottle. Strain the infused vodka into the bottle using a fine-mesh strainer and funnel. Discard the spices. Close the bottle and shake to combine. Freeze for at least 1 hour before serving.
Reprinted with permission from KACHKA, copyright 2017 by Bonnie Frumkin Morales. Published by Flatiron Books.
Did you enjoy this recipe? Sign up for our newsletter and get our favorite drink recipes of the moment in your inbox every month.