One of my retirement presents was this.
It’s not just a brand name, at the bottom of the bottle is this little chap
Vodka with a sting in the tail?
Ever the adventurers we road-tested said liquor in Martinis last night. It went down well with an olive and a hint of Noilly Pratt vermouth.
“Can’t taste the Scorpion though” said my friend.
“Ah, but do you know what one tastes like?” I replied.
He had to admit he never had and I can’t help but think that it would take an awful lot of vodka before either of us would be brave or daft enough to want to find out.
It reminded me of the joke about the man who visited a distillery and fell in a vat of whisky and had to get out seven times to go to the toilet before he drowned.
Since we had guests today, with some trepidation we opened the bottle of horseradish vodka that I made last month. I needn’t have worried as it was quite delicious. A bit fiery on the lips and palette, but it slipped down nicely with a smooth finish when chilled.
A success so I’m going to have a go at making some ginger vodka next.
I also stuffed some peppers and roasted them in the oven for a starter. I deconstructed this recipe from dishes that I have had in Spanish and Turkish restaurants.
Feta stuffed peppers
Sainsbury’s now sell packs of baby peppers so I bought two of the packs, beheaded the contents and scraped out the seeds. For the stuffing I mashed up a pack of Sainsbury’s Feta style cheese (Its’ only about 80p, no point spending loads when you are going to bake it) with two teaspoons of red pimenton (if you can’t get this ordinary paprika will do), four cloves of minced garlic, two chopped chilis and a slug of olive oil. Then I spooned the mixture into the peppers, bunged them in the oven and forgot about them for twenty minutes. Served four.
They were really good, so now I’m thinking about trying some different crumbly cheeses like Wensleydale of Lancashire and perhaps mixing some anchovy into the filling.
I bought this today. It’s some horse radish root
Horse Radish Root
I know what it looks like.
It’s destiny is to be grated and steeped in vodka for a month or so to create horse radish vodka, which will hopefully be similar to the one we had in the Shinok Restaurant in St Petersburg where these lovely Ukranian women sang a song to us, which also may have been quite rude.
Lovely Ukranian women at Shinok in St Petersburg
Our second night out in Edinburgh took us to Arcade in Cockburn Street.
Old man's pub downstairs, trendy vodka bar upstairs
I know it’s not much to look at from the outside, but once you get past the old man’s pub downstairs (I’m not knocking old man’s pubs by the way, I’d rather drink in one than a trendy music bar any day) there is a Polish vodka bar up the stairs. This place was stuffed with the local Polish community, which I take as a measure of quality and we were probably the only non Poles drinking there. Since there were five of us the five shots for £10 offer was an absolute bargain too. Sampled were: apple, black currant, bison grass and home made ginger. Much better than fake vodka bar dives like Revolution in my opinion.
Just over the road from Arcade is Viva Mexico.
Decked out with photos of Emiliano Zapata and the Mexican revolutionaries, this has to be one of the most fun places to eat in Edinburgh. Starters include things like stuffed chilis, bean or tortilla soup and ceviche (fish cooked in lime juice – delicious) while for the main course you can choose pork, beef or chicken to be made into burritos, fajitas, tacos or chimichangas, you choose. The only drawback is a very limited tequila menu.
So what’s the damage? Starter and main plus beers and tequilas rolled in at £120 for all five of us.