Horseradish infused vodka shot with cornichon

To a horseradish in vodka, the whole world is vodka. Life is not worth living, unless its full of zest.

You cannot get more zesty than with guzzling drinks that pack a horseradish punch. Vodka is smooth like water if you’re Eastern European, but for the rest of us, vodka is one difficult shot to throw back. Real men don’t use liquid chasers, which is why we came up with the vodka onion shot. Delicious and novel. As the type of individual that loves to introduce, or be introduced, to funny and wild drinks, learning about the availability of horseradish infused vodka was a Christopher Columbus, whole new world moment.

Horseradish infused vodka, welcomed and healthy

Horseradish vodka is new to me. If it has been around for a while, I’ve been sleeping through it. My introduction to this genius of a drink was through Referent. This is a Wisconsin-based family distillery that produces small batches of its powerful horseradish infused vodka. This naturally made vodka is available only in limited markets, but thank goodness for the Internet.

If you believe in the mystic abilities of Chinese medicine and root vegetables, then you’ll already know that since the dawn of time, horseradish has been utilized as a medicinal property. As anyone would already know if your nose was ever on fire after a roast beef sandwich or a piece of sushi, horseradish helps clear the sinuses and increase facial circulation. In addition to its mucus clearing abilities, horseradish has also been recommended to those with common colds, lung congestion, and to treat urinary infections.

Who wouldn’t want these amazing elements in their alcoholic beverages? Getting tipsy, while clearing up my body at the same time? Brilliant. And one more thing …

The horseradish’s unique filtering capabilities allow it to diffuse qualities which rid ethyl alcohol of its natural impurities that dehydrate the body and cause the “hangover”. So in other words, if you do not want a hangover the next day, you should drink some shots of Referent horseradish vodka. I can follow instructions like that.

Referent, the horseradish infused vodka

The way to drink horseradish infused vodka

There are cocktails that immediately jump to mind that would greatly benefit being prepared with horseradish infused vodka. To me, these are bloody marys and dirty martinis. Any alcoholic would derive the same conclusions.  The cook in me immediately starts thinking of cream-based sauces that could use a boost from the horseradish vodka. But that’s another post.

There is only one way to enjoy the full splendor of the horseradish infused vodka, and that’s in its purest form – as a chilled shot. As every good plate has its multiple textures/tastes, so does a good shot.

Pickleback shots became quite popular the last couple of years. The novelty of throwing back a stiff Jameson followed by refreshing shot of pickle juice garnered fans initially because of its uniqueness, but won them over for the longer-haul because it truly is a delicious combination. A variation of this plays most perfectly with horseradish infused vodka.

Cornichons are the mini-French pickles. These are the crisp, tart pickles made from tiny gherkin cucumber commonly served on charcuterie plates and the perfect 2nd act to complete a horseradish vodka shot. A quick swig of the vodka, followed immediately by eating the cornichon is an experience that must be tried. If you were ever a pickleback shot  or vodka onion shot fan, than this is without reservation a shot combination for you.


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