Appetizers and Drinks, Sous vide
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Sous Vide Jalapeno Infused Tequila

Sous Vide Jalapeno Infused Tequila

I know how to make hot pepper infused tequila – why should I get all modernist and cook it sous vide?

Because, when I want spicy tequila, I want it as soon as possible. Regular infused tequila needs to steep overnight; by adding gentle heat, I can have spicy tequila ready in under an hour.

And, it’s easier to vary the amount of heat. I found 45 minutes at 135°F to be the perfect amount of time – it transfers the jalapeno taste and the right amount of spicy heat. If you want the jalapeno flavor with just a bit of heat, infuse the tequila for 30 minutes; if you want to blast your taste buds, infuse it for an hour, extracting all the heat from the peppers.

Most sous vide infusion recipes recommend pouring the alcohol into a gallon zip-top bag, but I found that unwieldy. And by “unwieldy”, I mean “I spilled tequila everywhere when the bag slipped.” A quart jar is much easier to deal with; it is the right size for a standard 750ml bottle of liquor.

Oh, and one other thing – what type of tequila? You want 100% agave, sliver or blanco tequila. If the label doesn’t say 100% agave, it can be up to 49% cheaper liquor – not good. Pay a few dollars extra for the 100% agave tequila. Don’t get “gold” tequila – it’s silver tequila with food coloring added to give it an amber color.

On the other end of the spectrum are reposado (rested) and anjeo (aged) tequila. They are aged in the barrel to add more complex flavors, and you pay more for the quality. Normally, aging is a good thing, but I find that the jalapeno infusion overwhelms the delicate aged flavors. I prefer the clean flavor of a silver tequila with the heat of the jalapeno.

Recipe: Sous Vide Jalapeno Infused Tequila

Inspired by: Sous Vide Infused Alcohol and Spirits,

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes


  • Sous Vide water bath (I use a SousVide Supreme Demi)
  • Quart/Liter canning jar


  • 750ml bottle of silver (blanco) tequila
  • 1 large jalapeno, stemmed and seeded


1. Sous vide the tequila and jalapeno

Pour the tequila into the canning jar, add the stemmed and seeded jalapeno, and screw on the lid. Set the jar in the sous vide container. Fill the sous vide with hot water up to the base of the jar’s lid. Pull the jar out, set the sous vide for 135°F/57°C, and wait for it to come up to temperature. Put the jar back in and sous vide for 45 minutes. (30 minutes for less heat; 1 hour for more heat). Remove the jar from the sous vide, strain the peppers out, and let cool to room temperature. The spicy tequila is now ready to use.


  • Taste test: If you don’t know how hot you like your tequila, taste as you cook. Pull the jar out of the sous vide after 30, 45, and 60 minutes and taste the tequila to see if it is spicy enough yet. (Yes, you can drink during the day for this – you’re doing tequila research. This is science.)
  • I pour the tequila back into the original bottle and write “HOT!” on it in big block letters. If you prefer a moonshine look, strain out the peppers and leave the tequila in the mason jar.
  • Oh, and what should you do with spicy tequila? See Fiery Mexican Martini in the Related Recipes section, below.
Mexican martini on the rocks

Related Posts

Fiery Mexican Martini
Canning Jar Margaritas

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  1. Karen:
    Yes, it should work the same way – but you may need more time to infuse the flavor into the liquor – maybe a few hours? Cook it for a while, tasting ever hour or so, and when it’s flavored like you want, pull the jar out of the sous vide.

  2. bozbot says

    Salma Hayek – 2 parts jalapeño tequila, 1 part lemon lime juice, 1/2 part simple syrup, fresh mint. Muddle the mint with the ice in shaker. Add other ingredients. Shake well. Pour in martini glass. Or add tonic or soda to make a drink on ice.

    I steeped a half dozen jalapeños for a week. It literally took my breath when I tried it. Made this for the wife with the tequila from hell. She took a sip and said, “That’s what I’m talkin bout!” Unbelievable.

    Thanks for the new method! Going try this tonight!

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