Spicy liquor

I’ve told a few people about this and made at least on other person try it, so I’m going to blog it for posterity now.

I scored a bunch of spicy peppers* on the cheap from the supermarket a few weeks back and was wondering what to do with them. After a share from Brian Lamb to a genius idea for a frozen spicy fruit drink, I started thinking about sorbets and cocktails and that took me very quickly to the idea of making a syrup – something I could make very quickly with ingredients I already had, and would be versatile enough to be used in a variety of ways. After a bit of searching, this is the recipe I settled upon:

  • 2.5 cups of sugar
  • 1.5 cups water
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • 5 peppers sliced up
  • Couple of healthy sprigs of fresh thyme

Put everything except the lemon juice into a saucepan, heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved and leave to simmer for 5 mins or so. Take off the heat and add the lemon juice. Have a taste and see how spicy it is.

I wanted mine to be quite spicy, so I poured it into a jug and left it to cool and stand for a day before straining. You could strain it straightaway if it’s spicy enough for you. I popped it into a clean bottle. Probably it should go in the fridge, but I think there’s enough sugar in it that you can get away without if space is tight.

Since making this syrup I’ve mainly been adding it to mixed drinks to give them a bit of kick. The one I’ve enjoyed the most has been a combo of watermelon and pineapple juice, with a slug of syrup and a bigger slug of tequila. I’ve also used it to pep up a G&T and that was pretty good. I can imagine a few spoonfuls would go really well over a bowl of lemon sorbet too and it would enhance a plain margarita nicely.

What I like most is the extra depth that the lemon and thyme gives it over a more simple jalapeno syrup – for which there are many recipes available out there.

I think it would even be worth trying it in a salad dressing – I haven’t quite figured this out yet, but I think it would go okay with cider apple vinegar and oil, and the sweetness would work like honey does in a dressing. Still working out what it would be a good dressing for – something substantial I think with roasted veggies or grains, rather than lettuce or other leaves.

* sold to me as wonky jalapenos, but on closer inspection, I suspect serrano peppers. Not that it’s that important for this.

(Jalapenos taken by me. CCO - no rights reserved.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *