I've been going through this phase where I basically want to make a syrup out of everything. So far, I've made syrups with ginger, chai tea, cloves, star anise... you name it.
Keeping bottles of these homemade syrups handy has been great for entertaining. While the traditional caipirinha is always a crowd-pleaser, substituting the sugar or simple syrup with a flavored syrup is almost always sure to convince folks to come back for seconds.
Inspired by the continued popularity of the watermelon/jalapeno caipirinha on this site, I decided to try my hand at a serrano chili syrup. I've always liked serranos more than other chilis — not only do they look really cool in a dish when sliced into 1/4" thick wheels, but the taste is strong without being habenero-overpowering.
I started with two cups of water and about twelve serrano chilis, sliced.
After bringing it to a boil, I let it simmer for a half hour. (Hint: You'll want to turn the vent on.) Every so often, I gave the serrano slices a little mash with a wooden spoon. Then I strained out the solids and put the water back into the saucepan.
Simple syrup is usually a one-to-one mixture of sugar and water. I started with one cup and added quarter-cups until I got the flavor that I wanted. (After all, sugar-water was the original medium by which the Scoville scale for determining pepper piquancy was based.) One-and-three-quarter cups of sugar turned out to be perfect for my tastes.
I bottled the finished product after it cooled down, adding some vodka to stave off mold per Camper's recommendation.
That was Sunday. Tonight, I actually put it into an otherwise traditional caipirinha. The result? I could easily drink a few of these before realizing how much trouble I could get into. The chili flavor gives a nice little zing at the end of every sip, and your lips are left with a pleasant tingle when you finish.
I now leave you with:
Succubus' Kiss Caipirinha
Place lime slices and syrup into a rocks glass and muddle. Add cachaça. Fill glass with ice. Shake hard and serve.
- 2 oz cachaça
- One lime, ends removed, cut into half-circles
- 1/2 oz serrano chili simple syrup