Matthew Kelly / Supercall

These Cocktails Are Made with the Hottest Hot Sauces in the World


Some people love the sensation of capsicum—even if it makes them cry, sweat or hallucinate. The waves of chile pepper-induced euphoric pain only leave them wanting more. What starts as a dare to eat four habanero chiles whole—without water or milk—leads to a cabinet full of hot sauces, chile-laden booze and a fridge stocked with fresh hot peppers. With every chile experience, the pepper connoisseur exclaims, “Not hot enough!” and the search for the ultimate spice continues. These people are known as pepperheads.

For those of you who love that burning sensation that only a chile pepper can create, we came up with four cocktails of varying degrees of heat, each made with a different cult hot sauce that’s beloved amongst devout pepperheads. From a cocktail made with sweet, pungent habanero sauce to one made with the hottest pepper in existence, here are four ultra-hot hot sauce cocktails. Get ready for some lip-tingling insanity and be sure to have a milk on hand, just in case you can’t handle the heat.

Matthew Kelly / Supercall
If you like sipping on thirst-quenching Palomas on a balmy summer’s day—this cocktail is not for you. This cocktail is for pepperheads, hot sauce freaks and lovers of capisicum-induced pain. What starts out as a mild-mannered mezcal and grapefruit soda, becomes hot as hellfire with a few hefty bar spoons of El Yucateco Caribbean Habanero hot sauce. Made from tiny golden lanterns of pain, also known as habanero chiles, this hot sauce is packed with rich, bold island flavors. If you can handle the heat, this fiery, sweet, effervescent sipper may become your new go-to brunch cocktail.

The Essentials

EL Yucateco
Squirt Soda
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
This red-hot sour is an adaptation of a cocktail called The Bone from historian and author David Wondrich. Created for the now defunct Chickenbone Cafe in Brooklyn, New York, it was a blend of vinegary Tabasco, whiskey, lime juice and simple syrup, that was taken as a shot and served alongside a chile-rubbed steak. To increase the mouth-tingling bravado of the original, we swapped out the Tabasco for a thicker, meaner, more piquant hot sauce: CaJohn’s Lethal Ingestion hot sauce, which is made with one of the top five hottest peppers in the world, the Bhut Jolokia pepper (aka the ghost pepper). Though this take on the drink will be somewhere around 400 times hotter than the original, we still recommend you consume it quickly. The pain will linger, but so will that euphoric feeling and delicious flavor.

The Essentials

lime juice
Lethal Ingestion
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
This fiery hot tiki-inspired libation features Torchbearer Sauces’ The Rapture 2.0, a hot sauce made with the Trinidadian scorpion pepper. If you’re unfamiliar with this lethal pepper, its tip resembles a scorpion’s stinger (hence the name) and it clocks in at 1.2 million Scoville heat units—that’s about 600 times hotter than a jalapeño. According to Torchbearer Sauces, each bottle of their Rapture hot sauce contains the equivalent of 16 whole scorpion peppers. The only thing that lies between you and the flaming hot wrath of the pepper is a touch of citrus, a pour of rum and creamy carrot juice.

The Essentials

dark rum
Orange-Carrot Juice
The Rapture 2.0
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
This is it, the hottest cocktail in the world (unverified) made with the hottest pepper in the world (verified). We’ve seen the Carolina Reaper pepper make people puke, cry in pain and nearly asphyxiate. It would be wise to leave it alone—unless you, like millions of other people, are a glutton for punishment. Originally named HP22B and grown in South Carolina by "Smokin" Ed Currie, the mutant crossbreed of a habanero and a ghost pepper is known for its gnarly, pod-like shape, scythe-esque tail and astoundingly high Scoville rating. At 2.2 million Scoville Hot Units, it’s 800 times hotter than a jalapeño and twice as hot as a ghost pepper—which once held the title of hottest chile in the world.

To celebrate this punishing pepper’s heat we used "Smokin" Ed Currie’s very own hot sauce, Reaper Squeezins, in this spritzy drink. Hot as molten lava, the hot sauce is somewhat softened by sweet-savory celery soda, lime juice and tequila. Are you crazy enough to mix one up and take the Tequila Reaper challenge?

The Essentials

Reaper Squeezins
Cel-Ray Soda

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