An interesting and long-standing tradition in Ukraine is spicing whiskey.
Some say it’s because spicing masked the poor quality of homemade brew (samohonka in Ukrainian).
It may be more likely, however, that it’s because the fierce bite of peppers added to an alcoholic drink makes it even more potent!
Traditionally, however, spiced whiskey would have been called pertsivka, derived from peretz, the Ukrainian word for pepper. Peperivka comes from the English word for pepper, reflecting the growing influence of English on the Ukrainian language spoken in Canada.
Here is what you will need to make Pepervika:
Eight large dry cayenne pepper pods. Two cups whiskey, rye bourbon or scotch.
Place peppers in a clean, dry one quart crock. Add whiskey. Cork and let steep about one week. Makes two cups of spiced whiskey.
It’s great for the summer with tomato juice, add your favorite pop or have it on ice.