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Making Spicy Tequila!

There are many ways to infuse alcohol and I will be dropping another blog about this in the future. But for now we are going to infuse tequila with hot peppers!

Why? Because it can be done! Aaaand, because it is delicious in almost every tequila cocktail!

We are going to do the infusion in the simplest way possible: add the peppers to the tequila in a sealed container, wait 24 hours and remove the peppers. Let's get to it!

The chillies:

To keep things exciting, I chose 3 different powerful chillies to infuse the tequila with:

The Jalapeño. Who does not know it? If you like it a bit spicy, it is delicious on your hamburger or in any other dish. Popular worldwide and therefore the most common pepper to infuse tequila with.

This guy has an average score of 8,000 on the Scoville scale.

The Habanero. In addition to its considerable hotness, it also has some sweet, fruity notes, making it suitable for combining with chocolate and red fruit!

Scores an average of 325,000 on the scale and is thus about 40 times hotter than the jalapeño.

The Carolina Reaper, AKA the hottest pepper in the world! With an average score of 1,500,000 on the Scoville scale, this pepper is over 180 times hotter than the jalapeño. The pepper is almost impossible to use in the kitchen and is mainly bought to do the reaper challenge or, yes you guessed it, to make Spicy Tequila with!

What part of the chilli do we use?

It is mainly the internal seeds and membranes of the chillies that contain the hotness. The seeds themselves - despite what many people think - contain no capsaicin and therefore no hotness. It is simply the many touches with the seeds and capsaicin glands that allow the seeds to 'carry' the hotness. To get all the hotness and flavour from the pericarp of a pepper, it is best to use the whole pepper for infusions.

Time for the infusion.

For all three peppers, weigh the pepper and add 10 times more tequila.


- Cut your pepper into pieces.

- Weigh everything (including the chalice).

- Add 10 times as much tequila. So if you use 10 grams of pepper, add 100 grams of tequila.

- Pour everything into a jar or bottle.

- Close the jar or bottle hermetically.

- Leave to stand for 24 hours.

- Pour the contents through a kitchen sieve to catch the pepper.

- Enjoy your Spicy Tequila!

Testing them out

To test the usability, the tequilas were drunk both pure at room temperature and in an ice-cold classic margarita. The results are as follows:

Jalapeño: As you would expect, the tequila is simply hot. At room temperature, the green pepper smell comes along with the sipping, but in a margarita you don't taste this anymore and it's really delicious.

Habanero: The habanero tequila is clearly hotter than the jalapeño, but certainly not 40 times as hot! At room temperature it was too intense to sip pure, but with ice and a very small amount of salt this is a top combination. Because of the somewhat fruity and smoky nature of the habanero, this would be a top infusion if you used mezcal instead of tequila.

Carolina Reaper: Holy shit, so so hot! Just smelling it made the tips of our tongues sting. This is very unappetising and, to be honest, was also very bad to use in a classic margarita. By diluting it with 3 times as much tequila, it is somewhat doable, but the hotness still surpasses all characteristics of the tequila, which is just a shame. But every disadvantage has its advantage, because we had a lot of fun with this insanely hot tequila by using it in a drinking game called:

The Mexican Stand Off.

Everyone sits in a circle or at a table. Make sure you can see everyone’s face.

All the shot glasses are filled with water, except one.

This one is -yes- filled with Carolina Reaper Tequila.

Everyone shots at the same time and points directly to the person who they think had the tequila.

Did you have the tequila and did nobody point at you? Nice work! Then you can confess it was you, be proud of your poker face and give a shot away to someone else! Don't they believe you? Let them smell your shot glass and they'll know that you actually had it!

But enough playing, time for the

Spicy Tequila Cocktail Recipes:


Cut a lime in half and pull it over the rim of your cocktail glass

Dip the rim of your glass in salt (or a mix of pepper, salt & chilli flakes)

Pour into your shaker:

- 45ml Jalapeño or Habanero tequila

- 15ml Cointreau

- 30ml lime juice

- 20ml sugar syrup

Add ice and shake it, baby!

Pour through a Hawthorne strainer and kitchen sieve into your cocktail glass

Garnish with a lime slice, a pepper tip, or anything else that makes you happy.



Fill your long drink glass with ice.

Pour in:

- 45ml Jalapeño or Habanero tequila

- 20ml crème de cassis

- 20ml lime juice

Top with ginger ale.

Garnish with a straw and a lime wedge.

PRO-TIP: Cut a lime wedge in half, make a small incision in both halves, place one left and one right on the rim of your glass and you have two devil's ears!


Fill your long drink glass with ice


- 45ml Jalapeño or Habanero tequila

- 20ml lime juice

- 15ml passion fruit syrup

Top with the Mango & Chili Seltzer of Hooghoudt.

Garnish with a straw and a pepper.


Fill your highball glass with ice


- 45ml Jalapeño or Habanero tequila

- 20ml lime juice

Top with the Smoky Coca Cola mixer.

Garnish with a straw and (dehydrated) lime slice.

Want to learn how to make more tequila cocktails? Ask for the possibilities of a Cocktail Workshop in The Hague!



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