Maple Habanero Cocktail

This Caribbean pepper is famous for being the hottest chile pepper in the world. They come in a variety of shapes and colors (yellow, orange, green, red, chocolate). Not only are they extremely hot, but they also have a unique, distinctively fruity flavor. It is the key ingredient in the popular Jamaican Jerk sauce. The habanero is also widely used in many different types of hot sauces. The popularity of this chile pepper continues to grow and is becoming easier to find on the grocery shelf.

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Yields 2 Cocktails


  • 3 oz Potato vodka (I love Portland Potato Vodka by Eastside Distilling –pictured)
  • ½ oz Homemade habanero infused vodka (see notes)
  • 2 T Pure maple syrup
  • 1 T Fresh lime juice
  • 2-4 oz of Soda water, chilled
  • Course raw sugar (or rimming sugar) (optional)
  • Ice


Combine vodka, pepper-infused vodka, maple syrup, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker with a few cubes of ice. Cover, hold together with a rag, and shake—a lot. I like to keep things shaking for at least a full minute. If serving with sugar-rimmed glasses, dip the edge of each glass in some extra lime juice (or the inner rind of the lime if you used fresh limes!), and run each part of the rim through the raw sugar. Strain off the ice and fill each glass equally. Fill the rest of the glass with soda water to taste. Consume cold!

To make the habanero infused vodka:

Simply de-stem and cut up a ripe habanero pepper and place into a mason jar with 2-3 cups of your favorite vodka. Age for 3-4 DAYS. Do not age any longer.  Feel free to test the batch as it ages, although it will be quite strong.  Batch will keep for 3-4 months if kept well-sealed.

Recipe from The Spicy Bee, 2016