Jalapeño Simple Syrup

Spicy and sweet, Jalapeño Simple Syrup is a fiery addition to cocktails and non-alcoholic mocktails! Made with fresh jalapeños, this easy sweetener for drinks can be tailored to your preferred spice level.

a jar of simple syrup containing sliced jalapeños

Spicy drinks are on cocktail menus everywhere. Do you dare to order them?!

I love to try spicy cocktails and I’ve even ordered a spicy latte from a coffee shop. (If you’re ever in Columbia, S.C., try the honey habanero latte at Drip.)

Jalapeño Simple Syrup recipe

Spice is such an intriguing flavor to play with when mixing drinks. But how do you impart that spicy flavor into a drink?

One answer is a spicy, pepper-infused spirit such as Hatch Chile Vodka. Another is through a sweet, spice-infused simple syrup.

This recipe for Jalapeño Simple Syrup is not only a delicious addition to drinks, but it’s incredibly easy to make.

peppers in a jar on a white background

What is simple syrup?

Simple syrup is a liquid sweetener with a recipe that’s as easy as its name sounds. All you need to make it are equal parts sugar and water.

If you’ve ever tried to stir honey or pure sugar into a cold drink, then you know how painfully long it takes to dissolve. Simple syrup is the simple solution, as it mixes into any drink with ease.

Simple syrup can be made with different types of sugar and infusions from fruit, vegetables, spices and herbs (like this rosemary syrup).

This jalapeno syrup is a way to bring in a little kick of heat to your favorite cocktails.

sugar, water and jalapeños

Ingredients

You only need a few ingredients to make your own spicy simple syrup.

Sugar

The type of sugar you use depends a little on the color of your cocktail. If you’re making a spicy version of the classic margarita, you will want to stick with granulated sugar because it makes a clear syrup.

If the color matters less, such as in a strawberry basil margarita, you can use dark brown sugar (affiliate link) or even honey.

You will need 1 part sugar and 1 part water, which means if you use 1 cup sugar you will need 1 cup water.

Water

Water is a key ingredient of simple syrup, so I recommend using filtered water. However, it’s totally fine to use what comes out of your fridge or tap.

I don’t boil my simple syrups because I don’t want any to evaporate. If you’re going to boil water for impurities, do that first then measure out how much you need.

You can use equal parts water and sugar for syrup with a great consistency that’s easy to mix drinks with.

jalapeños in a glass jar

Jalapeño peppers

You will need a couple of fresh jalapeño peppers for this syrup. You’ll wash them, slice them up and stir them into warm syrup so they release their flavors and oils into the mix.

Feel free to play with other types of hot peppers like habaneros, serranos or poblanos. You could definitely have a lot of fun pairing sweetness with peppers across the Scoville Scale.

For a spicier syrup: Leave some or all of the seeds to up the heat level. You can also leave the peppers in your syrup overnight to infuse more flavor.

For a milder syrup: You have a few options for a less spicy syrup.

  • Use one pepper instead of two.
  • Remove all or most of the seeds.
  • Remove the peppers when the syrup has reached your desired spice level. (Taste your syrup frequently!)
  • If it winds up too spicy, you can always mix in a little classic simple syrup to dilute the flavor.
jalapeño peppers with an open jar of spicy syrup

How to make Jalapeño Simple Syrup

Here’s how to make this simple syrup with a kick:

  1. First, slice your peppers so they’re ready to go. Remove seeds for a milder spice level. Here’s a tutorial on how to slice jalapeños. (Hint: You may want to wear gloves and be sure you wash your hands with soap before you touch your eyes or face!)
  2. Pour your sugar and water into a saucepan. Heat up over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Don’t bring to a boil.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the sliced jalapeños. Let sit for 30 minutes — or longer for a spicier syrup.
  4. Store in a mason jar, glass bottle or another airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month. If the syrup begins to look cloudy, it’s time to toss it.

If a milder flavor and sweet syrup are desired, strain out the jalapeños before storing the syrup. For a spicy syrup, you can store the peppers with it for 1 day for a spicier syrup.

a black measuring cup pouring sugar into a pot of water on the stove
Stir in sugar until dissolved.

Variations and substitutions

There are a few ways to make this syrup all yours.

Use other types of peppers. If you dare, use another type of pepper such as habanero peppers, serrano peppers, poblano peppers or ghost peppers, to get an even spicier syrup.

Tailor the spice level to your liking. If you like it mild or don’t mind a little bit of heat, make sure no seeds get into your syrup, then remove the peppers soon after infusing.

If you like it spicy, then it’s okay to let some seeds in, steep the peppers for longer or both. Spice lovers will have so much fun toying with their perfect ratio.

Make a rich simple syrup. Use a ratio of 1.5:1 or 2:1 for a thicker syrup.

Spicy Jalapeño Blackberry Margaritas really hit all the taste buds so you can savor ever single sip. Make it with homemade jalapeño-infused tequila and tailor them with your desired amount of heat. Cheers to summertime! (via feastandwest.com)

Spicy cocktail recipes

You can use this syrup anywhere you’d use plain simple syrup, but the peppery flavor works especially well in tequila drinks or drinks with lots of citrus (hello, lime juice!). You could even mix it into lemonade.

Citrus helps to balance the bite of the peppers. Alcohol, too, will help to subdue the spicy kick and help you achieve the perfect balance of spicy and sweet in drink recipes.

Try adding jalapeño flavor to one of these delicious cocktails:

Mix it into a spicy Frozen Margarita, where the ice-cold temperature will combat the sweet heat of the jalapeño syrup.

This Blackberry Jalapeño Margarita is a winner. I usually make it with jalapeño-infused tequila, but you can use plain tequila with this jalapeño syrup instead!

Or mix 1 ounce into a Classic Paloma, a tart tequila drink made with grapefruit, to make it a Spicy Paloma.

Try it in a Mexican Mule — ginger and jalapeño will fight it out in a battle of the spices.

Mix it with herbal gin in a Spicy Jalapeño Gimlet for a feast for the senses.

jalapeños in a jar of syrup

More simple syrup recipes

Try one of these delicious and easy syrups for your cocktails, or come up with your own combinations!

jalapeño peppers with an open jar of spicy syrup

Jalapeño Simple Syrup

Yield: 1¼ cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Infusion Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Sweet and spicy, this jalapeño syrup will add a kick to your cocktails.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 jalapeños

Instructions

  1. Wash and slice peppers. Remove seeds for a milder spice level.
  2. Pour sugar and water into a saucepan. Heat up and stir until the sugar dissolves. Do not bring to a boil.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the jalapeños. Let sit for 30 minutes — or longer for a spicier syrup.
  4. Store in a mason jar or other airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month. If the syrup begins to look cloudy, it’s time to toss it.

Notes

Handling peppers: Here’s a tutorial on how to slice jalapeños. You may want to wear gloves and be sure you wash your hands with soap before you touch your eyes or face.

Adjusting the spice level: For a spicier syrup, leave some or all of the seeds to up the heat level. You can also leave the peppers in your syrup overnight to infuse more flavor.

For a milder syrup: You have a few options for a less spicy syrup.

  • Use one pepper instead of two.
  • Remove all or most of the seeds.
  • Remove the peppers when the syrup has reached your desired spice level. (Taste your syrup frequently!)
  • If it winds up too spicy, mix in a little classic simple syrup to dilute the flavor.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 ounce
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 78Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 0gSugar: 20gProtein: 0g

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