A few years back — quite a few — I sampled a vodka at Zuni Cafe, infused in-house with chiles.
Garbagey, vegetal, over-hot.
I say that this was quite a few years back, because I think most of us have refined and improved our infusing skills over time. They simply got it wrong then, and for all I know, it's a most delectable item nowadays. Wouldn't know. Haven't ordered it again.
I've experimented with a few infusions of my own. My biggest mistake was vodka infused with coffee beans. I simply left them in too long, and I got a very dark, very Juan Valdez drink. At the same time, rather tasty. But, too much. El muy mucho.
Fast forward a couple of years.
I'm pickling sliced jalapeño peppers.
I'm pouring a shot of Hangar One (unflavored) over ice.
I'm thinking, what if? What if?
So, yeah, I tossed in a single jalapeño slice.
The magic of alcohol is that it is able to extract flavor from additives So Fast. (Which is why I goofed with the coffee beans.)
In this case, I could immediately taste the pepper. In fact, I could taste the spices I had used to pickle the peppers.
Biggles, I'm gonna need more jalapeños.