Flavored vodkas are great, but they don't come nearly as close to infusing your own. This way, there is no limit to the different flavors that you can introduce to your mixed drinks. This is especially true if you want to introduce classic Indian flavors to your mixology experiments (Unless of course, Smirnoff decides to come up with these flavors overnight)!
I've tried experimenting with about 1/2 a dozen flavors of infused spirits, from fruits to a combination of spices. This drink, the Dirty Desi makes use of a vodka infused with cardamom & dried ginger. The proportions are flexible, I smashed up a 1 inch piece of dried ginger and 4-5 pods of crushed cardamon to 500 ml of vodka, Poured the spirits into a bottle with an airtight stopper, like this one from Urban Dazzle. Let the spices steep uninterrupted in the alcohol for a week and then filtered out the spices.
The drink itself is inspired by a classic beverage described in the Rig Veda, The Panakam, a divine combination of flavors from ginger, lime and cardamom. I love to serve it up as a chilled, slightly fizzy martini. Maybe it just stems from the fact that I love martini glasses, the conical shape the long stems, evokes the classy 'Bond'ish aura. Well since is is a contest organized by two classy entities, The Indian Food Bloggers meet and UrbanDazzle.com, what better than to serve up a Martini with classic Indian flavors!
Deadly Desi Martini - The 'Panakatini' (Makes 1 serving)
3 fl oz Cardamom & ginger infused vodka
Juice of 1 lime + the rind cut up into pieces
seeds from one cardamom pod, crushed
1-2 teaspoon Dark brown sugar or powdered jaggery
3 oz Ginger beer
Ice as required.
Combine the infused vodka, lime juice, the rinds, the crushed cardamom and the sugar in a cocktail shaker and muddle the mix together until the jaggery is dissolved. Add ice and ginger beer and shake the mix to combine. Strain out into a martini glass, garnish with a slice of lime and serve.