Sweet Bell Pepper Syrup
While in the Caribbean I came across a pepper so hot, its actually supposed to be hotter than Scotch Bonnet. Its name is Madam Jeanette or “Surinam Yellow”. While they are like small bell peppers, they are as hot as Habanero with a mango or pineapple like flavor. With all that heat, who could tell, I don’t know. It is used in a lot of dishes and cooking throughout Aruba and the other Caribbean islands but the one place I found it most peculiar was in a cocktail know as the Peligroso Old Fashioned at Bar Blue at the Marriott Renaissance Hotel. The sweet red bell pepper is suppose to balance the heat of the hot pepper. When the balance is right, you taste a hint of the red bell and a warming feeling in your throat on the finish from the Madam Jeanette. I am sure this has a lot of different applications for many Tiki and Polynesian cocktails.
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced)
- 1 Habanero OR Scotch Bonnet OR Madame Jeanette Pepper
- 1 Cup boiling water
- 1/2 Cup light brown sugar
Cut and dice the peppers. Be careful with the hot pepper, even if you wash your hands, when you touch your face you will feel it. Wear gloves or wash your hands really well with soap and aggressively dry your hands with a cloth towel. Bring a cup of water to a rolling boil, add in sugar and stir until dissolved. Add in peppers, stir. Reduce to a simmer and allow the peppers to cook in the syrup for about 15-20 minutes. Dip a spoon in the syrup mixture, let it cool for a few seconds, and taste it to see if it is too your liking. If it is too sweet or hot, you can always add some water. Allow to cool and transfer into a labelled bottle. I decided to call mine “Sweet Heat”. Let it cool, put it in the refrigerator. It should last up to 2 weeks or so, maybe a littler longer if you put a teaspoon of high proof neutral spirit like vodka or Everclear.
Use this in a cocktail such as the Peligroso Old Fashioned.