Swill is our bi-monthly column dedicated to liquor, wine, beer, and every other delicious dram that falls under the broader umbrella of booze. But it’s more than just tasting notes scribbled on a cocktail napkin — Swill is about getting outside of your comfort zone, trying new things, and exploring the big, wide world of libations. One week you might catch us halfway through a bottle of single-malt scotch, and the week after that we might be buzzing on some Ugandan moonshine made from bananas. This column is just one big boozy adventure, so grab yourself a glass and join us for another round.
Charleston Distilling Co. must be staffed with a bunch of madmen. Don’t get me wrong; I love a good pepper-infused spirit just as much as the next guy — but it takes a special kind of crazy to willingly infuse your vodka with Carolina Reapers.
If you’re not familiar, the Carolina Reaper currently holds the title as the World’s hottest chili pepper. First cultivated in the heart of South Carolina, the pepper boasts a whopping 2.2 million Scoville Heat Units — meaning it’s over 1,100 times as hot as your average jalapeño.
To make vodka with this nasty little bugger, Charleston Distilling starts with its fantastic King Charles vodka — a clean, crisp, and slightly peppery spirit made from farm-milled corn and rye. From there, they give the hooch a fresh infusion of raw Reapers, and then just let the concoction steep until it develops a good amount of heat.
I haven’t actually tried this stuff quite yet, but based on my experiences with vodka infused with far less-potent peppers, i’m willing to bet that this stuff will probably melt your face off. Yet, for some odd reason, I feel strangely compelled to give it a try.
Stay tuned for a tasting video. We’ll let you know how it goes.