Passover is about more than matzo ball soup. Like many Jewish holidays, it's about religious freedom, eating, and... drinking.
So I was thrilled when a friend brought a fantastic new culinary tradition to our seder table last week: potato vodka, flavored with horseradish.
Stop gagging. It's delicious.
Horseradish is one of the staple Passover foods. Jewish people eat it to remember the bitterness of being enslaved in Egypt, thousands of years ago. Usually, my family eats it raw, with a little bit of charoset -- a sweet, date-based jam -- to cut the spice.
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But now, we will also drink it in vodka. The powerful kick of the horseradish is the perfect anecdote to the medicinal dryness of the alcohol. It goes down incredibly smoothly, more like sake than vodka.
All you have to do is buy a bottle of potato vodka -- potatoes are kosher for Passover, while most grains are not -- and some raw horseradish. Peel the horseradish and cut it into a few slices, each about 1/2-inch thick. Stick the slices in the bottle.
If you have only a few hours before the seder begins, be generous with the horseradish. If you have days or weeks to let the mixture steep, use less, because that stuff is strong.
Warning: Shots of horseradish vodka are much more fun at the beginning of the meal, before you've eaten or drunk too much. On a full stomach, they can get a bit scary.