This homemade pepper jalapeño liqueur is fantastic! The pepper and jalapeño infusion is subtle and perfect for fun brunch cocktails like the ever popular Bloody Mary.
One of my favorite trends in mixology right now is the creation of unique liqueurs by bartenders.
I wish, back when I was a bartender, I had been half as creative as they are.
I tended to stick with plain old gin/vodka/etc. and didn’t spend too much time “concocting”.
Not to worry – I’m making up for it now!
I made a homemade pepper jalapeño liqueur using grain alcohol that is fantastic!
The pepper and jalapeño infusion is subtle yet spicy, and perfect for brunch cocktails like the ever popular Bloody Mary.
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How to Make Homemade Pepper Jalapeño Liqueur
To make this homemade liqueur, place whole peppercorns in a sealable jar, like a mason jar.
Pour 1 part grain alcohol and 1 part distilled water into the jar, seal it and let that steep for about 2 hours.
Then add 1 jalapeño, sliced into rings.
Do your best to keep the seeds because you want that spice to transfer to the liqueur.
Let the infusion sit overnight, or about 12 hours.
Strain the liquid into another jar, discarding the peppercorns and jalapeño rings.
Your homemade pepper jalapeño liqueur is going to turn a green color that is reminiscent of pickle brine but tastes spicy instead of sour.
That heat is perfect for a Bloody Mary.
Grain alcohol is the perfect blank canvas for homemade liqueurs. Its neutral flavor profile is the just what you want when infusing your favorite flavors.
You can literally make whatever flavor liqueur you want with it!
What is Grain Alcohol?
Grain alcohol means ethanol and it is a neutral grain spirit.
This is pure ethyl; most alcohols like tequila and vodka are between 40 and 50 percent alcohol.
Grain alcohol is between 60 and 90 percent alcohol.
The higher the proof, the higher the alcohol percentage.
Grain alcohol is not meant to be drank “straight.” You should think of it as an unfinished ingredient.
That’s what makes it perfect for this pepper jalapeño liqueur.
My picks for grain alcohol are:
- Polmos Spirytus – This would be my first choice because of it’s gentle smell and taste. It comes in 192 proof and 150 proof versions.
- Everclear – I used 190 proof Everclear for this recipe, but Everclear also comes in 120 proof, 151 proof, and 189 proof versions.
- Clear Spring – This 190 proof grain alcohol packs a punch.
Many places have limitations on the maximum alcohol content available for purchase.
With this in mind, purchase the highest proof available in your state or country for this recipe.
Do I need to use distilled water?
The simple answer to this question is yes, you need to use distilled water.
Distilled water is heated to such a high temperature that you can only make it yourself if you go through the distillation process.
You would need to heat water until it evaporates, collect the steam, and then collect the now-distilled water as the vapor cools down and becomes water again.
Distillation removes all chemicals and other contaminants and turns the water “pure.”
Depending on where you live, your tap water could be well water, treated with chemicals at a municipal facility, or contaminated by the pipes in your home.
Water from the tap has its own “flavor.” While many places treat their water to make it safe for drinking, it is not cleared of impurities.
Bottled water is usually spring water, mineral water, or purified water.
The difference between distilled water and these water types is that they still may contain minerals, and distilled water is nothing but water.
When making homemade liqueurs, you want the purest ingredients possible to extract as much flavor from the added ingredients that will give your concoction its flavor profile.
The Perfect Bloody Mary
Now that you have some pepper jalapeño liqueur, it is time to make a Bloody Mary.
My favorite drink to make back in my bartending days were Bloody Marys.
I bartended almost every Sunday for 2 years and nothing beats a Bloody Mary during brunch.
It didn’t matter whether it was the dead of winter or the height of summer, I always made more bloody’s than any other drink.
Can you imagine how much more popular my mix would have been with this liqueur instead of vodka?
Everyone’s Bloody Mary recipe is a little different.
My “secret recipe” includes Worcestershire, horseradish, lime juice, pickle brine, and a whole lot of not-measuring.
I would also include hot sauce but there is no need thanks to the homemade pepper jalapeño liqueur.
Add 1 ½ ounces of this liqueur instead of vodka and you are all set for a fun summer brunch drink.
And don’t forget your garnishes!
- 2 tablespoons peppercorns
- 1 jalapeno, cut into rings
- 1 cup grain alcohol
- 1 cup distilled water
- Place the peppercorns in the bottom of a sealable jar.
- Pour the grain alcohol and distilled water into the jar.
- Cover and seal the jar; set it aside to steep for 2 hours.
- Then add the jalapeño rings.
- Seal and let steep overnight (12 hours).
- Strain the liquid into an empty container, discarding the peppercorns and jalapeños.
- Use the liqueur for cocktails like bloody marys.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 44Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated and may not be correct.