Habanero Infused Vodka for The Molotov Mule

A “hot” new take on a classic cocktail

Sometimes you experiment in cooking, and the results are not so good. Other times, you experiment, and you make something fantastic. This is one of those latter examples.

For roughly a year now, I’ve been absolutely in love with the Moscow Mule. I discovered it in the Bartender manga and was entranced by the idea of ginger beer, having been used to ginger ale, which I do quite enjoy. The idea of an even more potent ginger beverage being used in a cocktail was quite appealing.

When I saw it on the menu at a classic bar, I had to order it immediately. I was quite impressed, and made it my drink of choice to make at home. But then I thought, what can I do to really make it my own?

I decided to bring the heat, and replaced the “plain” vodka with habanero infused vodka. With the spiciness of the ginger beer and the slow burn of the peppered up vodka, I dubbed it the Molotov Mule.

So are you sold yet? Well you’ll need some habanero vodka, so let’s get to that part first.

There are various suggested manners to infusing spirits with peppers. Some people simply prick the skin of the peppers with toothpicks before submerging them whole in the booze. Others remove the seeds and halve them, others go full barrel and cut up the peppers and leave the seeds in.

By the way, this is Crystal Head Vodka, in case that wasn’t obvious enough. Super thanks to my friend Mike for gifting it to me. 750 mils of vodka is in there. For this application, one habanero pepper.

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My take on it with my first batch of habanero infused vodka was to both be cautious yet be reckless at the same time. I discarded the seeds (because frankly there weren’t that many) and then I diced up the pepper pretty finely.

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Slide it into your bottle of vodka, cap it, and maybe give it a good shake.

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Let it sit for 2-3 days before straining out the pepper bits, and then funneling the vodka back in.

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Now for the fun. Sorry for the darkness of the photos.

You will need, the habanero spiked vodka, some highball or Collins glasses, ginger beer, and some lemons or limes. I know limes are more appropriate, but when you have a lemon tree, I won’t fault you for being economical.

So don’t fault me either.

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Add a shot of vodka (or two!) to each glass, and then squeeze in a side of your citrus, maybe a bit more if it is not particularly juicy.

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Then top off with ginger beer, give it a quick swirl with a spoon, and enjoy.

I suppose if I was a real badass I could have garnished it with an habanero pepper. Ah well.

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Potential geeky applications for the drink?

  • Any time you need an exotic drink with heat.
  • If you’re in the mood to run something involving a revolution where molotov cocktails come into play
  • When you want to have a tasty drinkable version of alchemist’s fire.

If you have any other ideas I’d love to hear them!


Habanero infused vodka

  • 750 ml vodka
  • 1 habanero pepper, optionally seeded and minced

Put pepper into the vodka bottle. Let sit for 2-3 days, then strain out pepper, and pour vodka back into bottle.

Molotov Mule

  • One shot (or two) of habanero vodka
  • A side of a lime or lemon
  • Ice
  • Ginger beer to cover (I like Bundaberg)
  1. Fill a highball glass three quarter of the way with ice, more or less depending on your taste.
  2. Build over the ice with the shot (or two) of habanero vodka, the juice of the side of lime or lemon, and fill the remainder of the glass with ginger beer.
  3. Slide in a spoon carefully and pull up quickly to incorporate the ingredients without disturbing the ginger beer too much.

9 thoughts on “Habanero Infused Vodka for The Molotov Mule

  1. Trying this tonight. I have some habanero infused vodka I have been using for bloody marys, but I wanted to try something else. Google brought me here 🙂 Will let you know how it goes!

  2. Sounds pretty cool – I mean, hot. I’ll have to try that some time!

  3. I’ve gotta thank you for the idea man, I grew some fatalii peppers this year and being reluctant to just bite in I decided to infuse a fifth of cheapo vodka with one pepper and some fresh ginger. Was terrific with your drink idea.

    • Hey, I’m really glad it worked out well! Thanks for giving it a try.

      First I’ve heard of Fatalli peppers, going to have to try to find some myself.

  4. Pingback: August feature: Jordan, Bartender Extraordinaire at the Skylark!

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