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.
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.
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: