Bacon and Habanero Infused Vodka

Bacon and Habanero Infused VodkaI recently had a delicious brunch at Croce’s Restaurant & Jazz Bar.  Dining alone and al fresco, I enjoyed a substantial breakfast quesadilla partnered with a killer brunch cocktail – a bloody mary with bacon and ghost chili infused vodka.  Since I have a great love for fiery alcoholic beverages, upon tasting this bloody mary, I immediately knew I was going to have to recreate this at home.  An intense mix of savory and spicy, this Bacon and Habanero infused vodka makes the perfect base to a mouthwateringly complex bloody mary (cocktail recipe to be featured next week).  Continue reading for the recipe.

BaconHabanero and Serrano ChilisBacon and Habanero Infused Vodka
Adapted from Croce’s Restaurant & Jazz Bar.

6 strips of bacon
3 habanero chili peppers
2 serano chile peppers
1 liter good quality vodka (this is not exact)

Bacon and Peppers

Add strips of bacon to a dry, cold, large skillet.  Warm the skillet over low heat.  Cook bacon until crispy, flipping the bacon several times throughout the process.  Transfer cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate and set aside to cool.

Remove the stems from each chili pepper and slice in half lengthwise.  Add peppers (with seeds) to a large, airtight jar.  Once cooled, add bacon to the same jar.  Fill the jar with vodka to cover the bacon and peppers.  Seal the jar and let steep for 7 days in the refrigerator.*

After 7 days, strain the vodka through a cheese cloth lined fine mesh basket strainer into a clean jar or bottle.  If you see any major particles floating in the vodka, strain a second time.  Discard the bacon and peppers.  Store in the refrigerator.

Makes 1 liter.

*  Letting the vodka steep with the chili peppers for 7 days will result in an extremely spicy infusion.  If you have a low heat tolerance, I would recommend steeping for a shorter period of time.  You can start tasting half way through and strain the infusion once you reach your desired heat level.  Keep in mind that this vodka will be used in a bloody mary.  You want it to be overly spicy because the tomato juice will turn down the heat level a bit.


  1. says

    Oh my, This sounds like my kind of drink! I bet the bacon gave the bloody mary the ultimate savory and smokiness. And the hot peppers! Loves (=

  2. Frozenmama says

    I’m curious if any residual bacon grease in the vodka would turn the vodka bad (is that even possible?) after some time. I’d love to make this!

  3. Brandon Matzek says

    @Lisa Yes! I have had many, many bloody marys over the years and this one is by far the most savory.

    @gregtooke I have not tried horseradish infused vodka; however, I think I am going to have to give it a go now!

    @Frozenmama You can store this vodka for up to 6 months in your refrigerator or 9 months in your freezer. I don’t anticipate my batch of vodka sticking around for that long though :)

  4. Carrie says

    I would love to try this, but I’m not huge on the Bloody Marys. Is there any other drink I could use this vodka for? How does it taste by itself?

    • Arthur says

      I have been meaning to make jalapeno infused tequila for margaritas.
      I wouldn’t let it steep for anywhere near as long so it wasn’t overbearingly hot, but the extra spice really added an edge to the classic margarita in my opinion.

  5. says

    Not being a bloody mary fan, this one just may not as popular with me as the tequila you did a while back. However, most of my friends are vodka and Bloody Mary fans, so I will definitely keep this one in mind!

  6. bicknuckley says

    Beetroot infused vodka is the business. It doesn’t last long. It turns brown in about three weeks. However while it is good, combing it with tomato juice creates an insanely vibrant color. Throw some capers and green peppercorns into the mix as well. Strain it and save the capers as a garnish.

    • Diane Violet Brown says

      beetroot vodka drink you mentioned does sound good to me with tomato juice Here i Canada we have Clamato juice which is another level in making the Bloody May Drink

      I think I will give this idea of yours a try
      Have lots of beets right here in the kitchen
      Short on vodka
      but that is not a problem WILL HEAD OUT SHORTLY TO GET SOE

  7. Nick says

    If you put the vodka in the freezer before straining, any bacon fat floating around will glob up together and solidify making it easily to filter out.

  8. Brandon Matzek says

    @Carrie This vodka actually has a really interesting taste on its own. Once you get past the initial burst of flame (provided by the habaneros), the flavor of the vodka is savory and complex. You can definitely taste the bacon flavor and some grassy notes from the seranos. Perhaps this vodka would pair well with muddled cucumber (Cucumber Martini) or a small glug of pure maple syrup (Maple Martini). I plan on testing out some new drinks in the next few months.

    @Sandra No, it doesn’t get any better 😉

    @Ren Thanks!! This infused vodka is definitely a culinary experience.

    @bicknuckley I am officially intrigued. Sans the capers, I am thinking that beet vodka would be insanely delicious in some sort of chocolate martini. Thanks for the inspiration.

    @Nick Thanks for the tip! The fat actually coagulated pretty well in the refrigerator; however, putting it in the freezer couldn’t hurt!

  9. says

    I love bloody marys so so much, and think bacon can improve almost anything, so I can’t believe I haven’t thought of this – what a brilliant idea! I so have to make this! Out of interest, did you taste the bacon after it had steeped? I’d love to know whether it still tasted bacon-y (or indeed, if it was still edible at all!)

  10. says

    This is crazy creative! So do you mix into a Bloody Mary? What have you paired it with? Of course love anything with bacon and I love heat. My wheels are turning on what one could do with this! I would never in 1624 years have thought to put bacon IN the vodka. You visionary you….

  11. Brandon Matzek says

    @Eliot Trust me… it’s good 😉

    @Emma I did taste the bacon. It wasn’t too bad! I think my issue was with the fact that it was cold and wet 😉

    @Boulder Locavore Yes, check out my post: The Bacon Bloody. So delicious!

  12. says

    first, this cocktail and your site and looks amazing…it’s
    my first time visting. second…do you have any tips for food
    blogging? i just started and noticed you had been promoted of
    foodbuzz….thanks for any tips whatsoever!

  13. Brandon Matzek says

    @Tracy Just focus on your content. So many people get wrapped up in the promotion of their blog that they let their content fall by the wayside. Good content will promote itself :)

  14. says

    This looks great. I’ve done peppers and I’ve done bacon, but not together. One tip I would add is to pull the peppers out of the vodka after 2 weeks. It starts to get a little bitter after that. Cheers!

  15. Kami W. says

    This recipe has got to be magical in bloodys! I have a large batch (2 gallons) in the fridge right now. (Dividing into small jars for holiday gifts!) I was wondering if I should expect the end result, after proper straining, to be a clean honey colored liquid? Not cloudy. Thanks for sharing the recipe! Can’t wait to taste it!

    • Brandon Matzek says

      Hi Kami, if you strain this multiple times, it will be clear. You may want to freeze the infusion for several hours before straining to ensure that all of the fat is solidified. Enjoy!!


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