How to use chili peppers to give your favorite drink an extra kick

It’s nice to kick back with your favorite drink at the end of the day, but what if you could combine your favorite alcoholic drink with your love for hot peppers?

It turns out, you can. It’s a little different than just adding a little hot sauce or extract. With this spicy drink trend, you’re actually infusing the alcohol with chili peppers to give it an extra kick.

To make it work, look for fresh chili peppers. You’ll want to wash them, then slit them lengthwise. If you don’t slice them, they’ll float. Cutting them or poking a few holes in them also makes it easier for alcohol to get into the peppers. If you want an even stronger infusion, try chopping the peppers into small pieces. You can start with just one pepper, but generally people like to use two or three. The more peppers you use, the greater the flavor on the Scoville scale. Keep in mind, it’s not immediate. It can take anywhere from a few hours to several weeks to get the result you want. Typically, it takes a few days to a week. The longer the peppers stay in, the more heat you get. Eventually, the peppers sink and begin to break down, so don’t forget about it.

You’ll probably need a taste-test to determine the right amount of time and flavor.

 You can really use any type of pepper on the hot scale you want, but habanero peppers are an especially good choice because they’re full of flavor and heat. As for the alcohol, it’s up to you. Vodka, tequila and even certain wines are said to work well. You don’t have to drink all the alcohol right away either, just strain out all the peppers when you’re finished with a cheese cloth or a fine mesh strainer, then re-cap the bottle. As long as you strain it, the alcohol stays good just as long as it would without the chili pepper infusion.

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