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Chili Schnapps

Chili schnapps - based on fresh or dried chili peppers - is hot, spicy and very tasty. However - heat, taste and colour all depends on what kind of pepper and alcohol (vodka, tequila or sherry) you use.

Serve with fish, shellfish, sushi, chicken, soup, rice dishes, pasta, meat and stew.

Or add a little schnapps to your curries, barbecue sauces, dips, chutneys, salsas, and dishes where you would normally use hot peppers.

You can also turn your schnapps into a liqueur.

Chili schnapps blends very well with...


You can use any type of fresh or dried chili peppers, but I suggest you start with the traditional varieties such as ...

Chili pepper plant with oblong, red chilies.
  • Serrano (7,000 - 25,000 Scoville Units)

  • Cayenne (35,000)

  • Jalapeno (3,500 - 4,500)

  • Pasilla (2,500)

  • Habanero (200,000 - 350,000)

  • Tabasco (30,000 - 50,000)

  • Thai (50,000 - 100,000)

  • New Mexican (1,000)

  • Chipotle (smoked jalapeno) (10,000)

The capsaicin in chili pods may hurt the skin of your hands - so, use cotton gloves when you prepare the chilies.

Never rubber or plastic gloves, or your schnapps might taste of rubber or plastic.

Also - be careful not to touch your eyes while preparing chilies.

Wash your hands and kitchen tools well after preparation.

Never drink water if your mouth is burning after intake of too hot chilies - water will only make it worse. That's because Capsaicin is an oil and therefore not soluble in water.

Milk, ice cream, chocolate, yogurt, or cold beer are much better.

You can use any type of chili pepper for schnapps making - mild or pungent - whole, punctured or sliced - ripe or unripe - fresh, dried or roasted - with or without seeds.

There are so many variations and so many combinations and each time you get a totally different chili schnapps. So try to experiment.

In below recipes I have used whole, fresh Jalapenos and Habaneros.

  • Recipe 1 - infused in VODKA
    75 centiliter vodka
    2-4 jalapenos
    Steep for 1-2 weeks or longer.

  • Recipe 2 - infused in TEQUILA
    1 liter tequila
    2-3 habaneros
    Steep for 3-4 weeks.

  • Recipe 3 - infused in SHERRY
    1 bottle of sherry
    2-3 jalapenos
    Steep for 3-4 weeks.


  • Rinse the chili peppers carefully - remember to use gloves.

  • Leave them to dry in the shadow - on paper towel.

  • Combine chili peppers and alcohol (vodka, tequila or sherry) in a clean glass jar with tight-fitting lid.

  • Steep at room temperature, 18-20°C (64-68°F), and according to above recipes.

  • Shake lightly and taste it from time to time.

  • Strain and filter your infusion into a clean glass bottle or jar with tight-fitting lid.

  • Store (age) for a couple of months or longer in a dark place at room temperature before serving.

Note: If for some reason you are not satisfied with your infusion, there are ways to adjust both taste and flavours - click here to see how.

Serve your chili schnapps at room temperature in suitable glasses. And remember to keep your schnapps bottle tightly closed and in a dark place before and between servings.