At Eastern European restaurant Kachka in Portland, OR, house-made vodka infusions play a key role in the beverage program. Using them in cocktails is a way to gain wider acceptance among customers, says Israel Morales, co-owner and beverage director. “And infusions are a great way to add character, style and flavor into a cocktail without a host of liqueurs.”
Horseradish is one of the most traditional vodka infusions and by far the most popular at Kachka, says Morales. Pre-Covid, the restaurant sold about 15 gallons of it a week. As part of its takeout program Kachka sells 12 different infused vodkas as well as a selection of cocktails.
The restaurant in November partnered with local distillery Martin-Ryan to bottle and distribute its horseradish vodka infusion in liquor stores throughout Oregon. That venture was so successful that they are adding more SKUs to the bottling line, such as a seasonal release to celebrate Oregon strawberries.