Khrenovukha – Horseradish vodka – part 9 in the 12 drinks for Christmas
Khrenovukha – Horseradish vodka
I was first given this traditional recipe for Khrenovukha by my Russian friend Sasha and it appeared in my first drinks book, Booze for Free. Having played around with it for a few years I have found that the addition of chilli peppers and cloves that I have hitherto said were optional, actually make a great addition. Without the slight burn of the chilli and the warmth of the cloves the drink can sometimes taste a little cabbagey. This is of little wonder as horseradish is in the same family as cabbage.
The Russians will drink Khrenovuka to give a swift kick to your sinuses giving them no other option than to clear within moments. If drinking for fun rather than medicinally food pairings include salted fish, rye bread and smoked bacon.
1 litre/2 pints of good vodka
1 large, fresh horseradish root
1 chilli pepper (cut but not seeded)
5 tsp of honey
Peel the horseradish root and then slice it carefully with a very sharp knife into long thin slivers of about 10 cm/3 inches you should end up with 12-15 of them. Place them in your thoroughly-cleaned bottle. Pour a little vodka into a small glass and stir in the honey until it dissolves, then pour this over the horseradish slivers. Pour the rest of the vodka into the bottle up to the neck, covering the horseradish.
Leave in a dark place to infuse for 3-4 days, after which pour it through a colander or sieve, discarding the horseradish, and return to a clean bottle. Use within 3-4 months.