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Pepper vodka?

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  • R B
    I recently went to a class taught by Thomas Handwerker about Baba Yaga. That sparked a discussion about vodka. Since he is also a brewer, I asked him if he
    Message 1 of 7 , Aug 31, 2008
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      I recently went to a class taught by Thomas Handwerker about Baba Yaga. That sparked a discussion about vodka. Since he is also a brewer, I asked him if he knew about pepper vodka in period? I have read about pepper vodka in spy novels, nothing historical. He had never heard of pepper vodka at all but he was interested.

      A quick search online revealed that pepper vodka is called petrovka or petrivka and the several dozen online sources (which all seem to be cut and pasted from a single wikipedia article) say it is Ukrainian, not Russian. It is also unclear about whether it is black pepper (capiscum nigrum? right? peppercorns worth more than gold in period) or red pepper and honey or both types that are used. I really wanted to find a recipe but the only one I found was Alton Brown's recipe that uses black pepper - hard to drink. Best for cooking spicy foods.

      The kind of red pepper that paprika is made from might have been used. I will do a more extensive search later.

      Any thoughts on this?


      -Lady Kalara Zrinyi.
    • Amy Provost
      We make our own pepper vodka for making bloody mary s. I use a combination of white/red/and black. Never thought about period references though. But you re
      Message 2 of 7 , Sep 4, 2008
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        We make our own pepper vodka for making bloody mary's.  I use a combination of white/red/and black.
        Never thought about period references though.  But you're right, it's hard to drink on its own!

        Ameline

        On Sun, Aug 31, 2008 at 12:27 PM, R B <Catch_the_dragon@...> wrote:

        I recently went to a class taught by Thomas Handwerker about Baba Yaga. That sparked a discussion about vodka. Since he is also a brewer, I asked him if he knew about pepper vodka in period? I have read about pepper vodka in spy novels, nothing historical. He had never heard of pepper vodka at all but he was interested.

        A quick search online revealed that pepper vodka is called petrovka or petrivka and the several dozen online sources (which all seem to be cut and pasted from a single wikipedia article) say it is Ukrainian, not Russian. It is also unclear about whether it is black pepper (capiscum nigrum? right? peppercorns worth more than gold in period) or red pepper and honey or both types that are used. I really wanted to find a recipe but the only one I found was Alton Brown's recipe that uses black pepper - hard to drink. Best for cooking spicy foods.

        The kind of red pepper that paprika is made from might have been used. I will do a more extensive search later.

        Any thoughts on this?

        -Lady Kalara Zrinyi.




        --
        www.crookedwall.org
        www.bthumbstudios.com
      • Beth Ann Bretter
        I ve never seen any reference to pepper vodka in all my cordial research but you might want to try The Domostroi. At the very least it s a starting point for
        Message 3 of 7 , Sep 5, 2008
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          I've never seen any reference to pepper vodka in all my cordial research but you might want to try The Domostroi. At the very least it's a starting point for period slavic cooking. There's also Food in Russian History and Culture by Glants and Toomre which isn't a primary source, but I've heard it's a very good reference.

          Peyton
        • Jennifer Heise
          I think the closest thing you d get would be water of pepper , made by distilling pepper with grain beverage. I don t know if they made such a thing but the
          Message 4 of 7 , Sep 5, 2008
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            I think the closest thing you'd get would be 'water of pepper', made
            by distilling pepper with grain beverage. I don't know if they made
            such a thing but the Brits at least did make 'waters' of all the
            spices they could get their hands on.

            From John French's Art of Distillation, 1651:

            "OILS ARE MADE OUT OF SEEDS THUS
            Take of what seeds you please, bruised, two pounds. Of spring water
            take twenty pints, let them be macerated for the space of 24 hours,
            and then be distilled in a copper still with a worm or alembic with
            its refrigerating. The oil extracted with the water, being separated
            with a tunnel, keep the water for a new distillation.
            This water after three or four distillations is a very excellent water
            and better than is drawn any way out of that vegetable whereof these
            are seeds; I mean for virtue though not always for smell.
            After the same manner are made oils of spices and aromatical woods."

            On Fri, Sep 5, 2008 at 10:34 AM, Beth Ann Bretter <ladypeyton@...> wrote:
            > I've never seen any reference to pepper vodka in all my cordial research but
            > you might want to try The Domostroi. At the very least it's a starting point
            > for period slavic cooking. There's also Food in Russian History and Culture
            > by Glants and Toomre which isn't a primary source, but I've heard it's a
            > very good reference.
            >
            > Peyton
            >
            >
          • Kandy Fling
            There are two different kinds of pepper. Black (and white and green) peppercorns are piper nigrum, and period. The pink ones are schinus terrbinthifolius.
            Message 5 of 7 , Sep 5, 2008
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              There are two different kinds of pepper.

              Black (and white and green) peppercorns are piper nigrum, and period.  The pink ones are schinus terrbinthifolius.  Long pepper is piper longa.

              Bell peppers, paprika, and all the hot chili peppers are types of capiscum, which is new world.  Yes, Paprika, which is often associated with Hungary, is capiscum annuum, originally new world.

              From the Wikipedia entry, it looks like "Pepper Vodka" is made with capiscum peppers, and thus not period.

              Grain based vodka is period, and it is feasible (as in they had all the ingredients) for there to have been vodka flavored with piper, but I haven't seen any references to that (not saying I've seen all the references there are, though).  It is, of course, a slippery slope to say "well they had this, and they had that..." and, anyway, it wouldn't be the "pepper vodka" you've seen in spy novels.


              --- In SCA-Herbalist@yahoogroups.com, R B <Catch_the_dragon@...> wrote:
              >
              (Snip)

              >
              > A quick search online revealed that pepper vodka is called petrovka or petrivka and the several dozen online sources (which all seem to be cut and pasted from a single wikipedia article) say it is Ukrainian, not Russian. It is also unclear about whether it is black pepper (capiscum nigrum? right? peppercorns worth more than gold in period) or red pepper and honey or both types that are used. I really wanted to find a recipe but the only one I found was Alton Brown's recipe that uses black pepper - hard to drink. Best for cooking spicy foods.
              >
              > The kind of red pepper that paprika is made from might have been used. I will do a more extensive search later.
              >
              > Any thoughts on this?
              >
              >
              > -Lady Kalara Zrinyi.
              >

            • Ysabeau
              I don t know about in period, but in general white pepper is more commonly used now in both Asia and Europe. When you go to restaurants it is white pepper that
              Message 6 of 7 , Sep 5, 2008
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                I don't know about in period, but in general white pepper is more commonly used now in both Asia and Europe. When you go to restaurants it is white pepper that is on the table, not black pepper like we find here.
                 
                If I were to guess, I would use white pepper over red or black.
                 
                Ysabeau

                On Thu, Sep 4, 2008 at 2:56 PM, Amy Provost <sparrowhawk9@...> wrote:

                We make our own pepper vodka for making bloody mary's.  I use a combination of white/red/and black.
                Never thought about period references though.  But you're right, it's hard to drink on its own!

                Ameline

                On Sun, Aug 31, 2008 at 12:27 PM, R B <Catch_the_dragon@...> wrote:

                I recently went to a class taught by Thomas Handwerker about Baba Yaga. That sparked a discussion about vodka. Since he is also a brewer, I asked him if he knew about pepper vodka in period? I have read about pepper vodka in spy novels, nothing historical. He had never heard of pepper vodka at all but he was interested.

                A quick search online revealed that pepper vodka is called petrovka or petrivka and the several dozen online sources (which all seem to be cut and pasted from a single wikipedia article) say it is Ukrainian, not Russian. It is also unclear about whether it is black pepper (capiscum nigrum? right? peppercorns worth more than gold in period) or red pepper and honey or both types that are used. I really wanted to find a recipe but the only one I found was Alton Brown's recipe that uses black pepper - hard to drink. Best for cooking spicy foods.

                The kind of red pepper that paprika is made from might have been used. I will do a more extensive search later.

                Any thoughts on this?

                -Lady Kalara Zrinyi.




                --
                www.crookedwall.org
                www.bthumbstudios.com


              • Doug
                Stoli s used to make it, and it was sort of like drinking at your favorite Greek burger/wimpies/chili burger place. Escpecially good on cold winter nights.
                Message 7 of 7 , Sep 6, 2008
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                  Stoli's used to make it, and it was sort of like drinking at your favorite Greek burger/wimpies/chili burger place. Escpecially good on cold winter nights.
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