Naga Jolokia Ghost Chili Pepper Moscow Mule Cocktail Recipe

If you’ve been following me on instagram @gourmetfury, you’ll know that I’ve been on a ghost chili pepper kick. Ever since Mr. Fury brought home the bright orange Naga/ Bhut Jolokia from his co-worker’s garden, we’ve been stuck on what to do with them.

Having no idea of how hot the world’s hottest pepper (according to the Guinness Book of Records) is, we first tasted them with utmost care. We poked toothpicks into them and tasted the juice off the toothpicks. The peppers were highly fragrant and tasted bright and fruity. The heat settled in and travelled swiftly to the back of the throat. Every lick of skin that the toothpick touched started to burn. The heat was dull but deep, if that makes sense.

Ghost Chili Pepper Naga Jolokia by Melody Fury Photography. Food, Drink, Restaurant Photographer and Writer in Vancouver BC and Austin TX

Killer hot Ghost Chili Peppers (Naga Jolokia), about to be infused into vodka

At over a million SHU on the Scoville Scale, we were too chicken to take even a nibble. In comparison, the habanero and scotch bonnets are only at 100,000 – 350,000 SHU. [source]

So we decided to infuse the chilies into liquor to encapsulate the floral, fruity chili heat without risking searing our taste buds off. Using gloves (of course), I sliced two chilies up, removed the seeds and added them into a 750mL bottle of mid-shelf vodka. I left the seeds in the third chili and popped it into the bottle too. The infusion rested at a cool spot in my kitchen.

Ghost Chili Pepper (Naga Jolokia) Moscow Mule Cocktail Recipe by Melody Fury Photography. Food, Drink, Restaurant Photographer and Writer in Vancouver BC and Austin TX

Ghost Chili Pepper (Naga Jolokia) infused vodka shaken into a Moscow Mule

Three days later, we sampled the ghost chili pepper infused vodka straight up.  As we expected, the vodka drew out the chilies’ fresh and fragrant punch.  The heat was definitely prominent but it was tolerable and didn’t linger too long.  This was one addictive sipper, especially for chili fiends.

To show off the fiery liquor, I shook it up with some lime juice and topped the cocktail off with icy ginger beer.  I usually find the Moscow Mule a bit flat but here, the ghost chili peppers gave it a serious kick.  The cocktail is a balanced contradiction of refreshing and spicy.  It starts out tingly and becomes hotter with each sip, which I personally adore.

This summer beverage will make you sweat but keep going back for more.  Here’s the recipe:


Ghost Chili Pepper Infused Moscow Mule


  • 2 ounces Ghost chili pepper infused vodka
  • 1/2 ounce Lime juice
  • About 4 ounces Ginger beer
  • Ice


  1. Add the vodka and lime juice into a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake for 20 seconds.
  2. Strain into a Collins glass and fill with lightly crushed ice.
  3. Top with ginger beer.
  4. Garnish with a slice of lime and serve with a straw.


  1. July 27, 2012 by Madeline Puckette

    I was a little terrified of how much you used.  My pequancy-loving friend had a terrible reaction after trying a slice of well-cooked pequin pepper.  Still, a ghost-pepper cocktail has a certain ring to it.  Take a dip on the wild side.  Hope to see you in Seattle soon ;)

  2. July 27, 2012 by Melody Fury

    Hi Madeline! I removed the seeds from 2 of 3 peppers, which helped a lot. It’s important not to over infuse. Give it a try when you have the chance! Yes, I do plan to come to Seattle some time soon :)

  3. July 29, 2012 by erin

    what does Mr. Fury’s friend do with the peppers since they grow them?

  4. July 30, 2012 by Melody Fury

    I’m not sure exactly what he does but we definitely put them into our cooking. We just need to make sure to mince them really finely or someone may be in for a surprise! Sauces, salsas, stews, chilis, are all easy applications.

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