Posted by / 09 November 2017 /

Jalapeno Infused Vodka #cookthebooksclub

My charming book club, Cook the Books, chose the mystery The Patriarch by Martin Walker as our November/December selection. Claudia, from Honey from Rock chose the book for us. She has been reading books by Martin Walker for years and because of the author's culinary usage, it was a perfect selection for the group.

Martin Walker writes a series of books about Bruno, who is the Chief of Police in a small French town called St. Denis.  He is a true Renaissance man, a unassuming man who is a gourmet cook, wine enthusiast, gardener who is dabbling in truffle oak trees, a hunter, and a dog man.  He makes his own jams, pates, sausages, confits, etc.  He rides horses and is a sensitive, caring man.  Wish there were more like him!

One of Bruno's childhood heroes is a man named Marco Desaix, knicknamed "The Patriarch."  He is a French Resistance hero.  Bruno is invited to his birthday celebration and he is overjoyed.  Of course, there is a murder at the event, which involves everyone from his lover to The Patriarch. Bruno gets involved in a personal way in this adventure.  Read to see how!

Of course politics gets involved, mainly because there is so much talk about The Patriarch and the murder victim and how they were involved with the Russians. There is a small food scene there that describes how a simple meal with vodka was shared.  I decided to create my own version here.

Jalapeno Spiked Vodka

1 jalapeno, top removed, cut into fourths. Remove seeds if you don't want the vodka too spicy.
1 bottle of vodka
zest of two lemons

Remove cap from vodka.  Wash and prepare jalapenos.  Wash lemon and remove zest in large pieces.  Place zest and jalapeno into vodka.  Infuse for two days.  Strain and serve cold.

I loved this vodka. The lemon adds a clean flavor, bright, and with the spicy jalapenos, just enough bite to notice but not too much to blow out your taste buds.  

I served this like Bruno did in the book:  shots of vodka with good salami, dark bread, (I added the cheese) and some olives.  My husband and I enjoyed the food in front of our fireplace, making plans for summer travel.

A bit of advice.  Since this is a sipping vodka, choose good vodka. We like Tito's just for sipping and making cocktails, so that was our vodka of choice.
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