Kitchen Notes

Habanero Blackberry Bourbon

This slightly sweet and very spicy cocktail with apple cider and muddled blackberry is perfect for a fall afternoon. 

  • 2 fl oz bourbon 
  • 2 fl oz apple cider 
  • .5 fl oz habanero simple syrup (or plain simple if you want to skip the spice)
  • .5 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 4 blackberries 
  • orange twist 

Combine bourbon, cider, simple syrup and lemon in a shaker and stir with ice. 

In a mason jar or high ball, muddle blackberries. 

Add ice and strain bourbon mixture. 

Garnish with orange twist. 

Hot Sauce Field Guide: Belizean Heat

One of our favorite bottled hot sauces on the market is a habanero-based condiment from Belize called “Marie Sharp’s Belizean Heat.” It’s undeniably fiery, but with a touch of earthy sweetness to balance everything out. The secret ingredient: carrots. Here’s our homemade version.

Yield: 2 cups

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 3 fresh habanero chilies, stem and seeds removed, diced
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

In a skillet over medium heat, add the canola oil. When it shimmers, add the onion and carrot and cook until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor. Add the chilies, lime juice, salt and 3/4 cup water and puree until completely combined. Transfer to a bottle and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Hot Sauce Field Guide: Sauce Ti Malice

Hot Sauce Field Guide

As the makers of the Make Your Own Hot Sauce Kit, you can say we take hot sauce pretty seriously. Our love for all things sauced, combined with the flavor and heat of chili peppers inspired us to trek the globe in search of the best hot sauce recipes. This journey led us to create one of our most popular products at The Chili Lab, The Hot Sauce Field Guide.

The pocket-sized Hot Sauce Field Guide brings culture from around the world directly into your kitchen. Each recipe has a unique backstory, clear instructions, and is absolutely delicious. Here's a sample of what you can expect in this handy cookbook. 


History of Sauce Ti Malice


According to Haitian folklore, there once were two friends, Bouki and Ti Malice. Every day around lunchtime, Bouki would show up at Ti Malice’s door to say hello, and Ti Malice, being a hospitable friend, would offer to share his lunch with his unexpected guest.

After weeks of sharing his lunch with Bouki, Ti Malice decides to trick his mooch of a friend by preparing a dish that was doused in a very spicy hot sauce he’d made. Bouki tasted the food and loved it, shouting all over town “Try the sauce Ti Malice made for me!” The name stuck, as did Bouki’s lunch routine. In Haiti, sauce ti malice always accompanies griot, a fried pork dish. It would taste equally delicious on carnitas, or even a steak.


How to Make Sauce Ti Malice


Yield: 2 cups


🌶 1 teaspoon olive oil
🌶 1 small onion, chopped
🌶 1 garlic clove, minced
🌶 1 cup chopped bell peppers (a mix of red and green)
🌶 3 fresh habanero chilies, chopped
🌶 2 tablespoons tomato paste
🌶 Sea Salt or The Chili Lab Péquin Chili Salt
🌶 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or vinegar brine from pickled peppers)


In a skillet over medium heat, add the oil. When it’s shimmering, add the onion and cook until soft, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic, bell peppers, and habaneros and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bell peppers have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and stir to coat the vegetables.

Cook until the mixture looks dry, 2 minutes. Add the vinegar to deglaze the pan, using a spoon to scrape up any browned bits. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until the mixture has reduced slightly. Let cool, and transfer to a container; if you prefer a smooth sauce, transfer the mixture to a blender and blend before storing.

Loved this sauce? Don't blame you! There's plenty more where that came from in our Hot Sauce Field Guide!

Introducing the Chili Lab Hot Sauce Kit

Sometimes the only thing standing between you and a new cooking adventure is the right tools. To that end, we’re thrilled to announce our latest creation, The Chili Lab Hot Sauce Kit. A collaboration with W&P Design, the Hot Sauce Kit comes with everything you need to create a bespoke chili condiment of your own.

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Habanero Blackberry Bourbon

The coconut and berry notes of the habanero chili pepper make for a perfect summertime cocktail. If it's still spring, winter, or fall and you need to unwind, this chili pepper's bite will make you feel nice and warm. 

Substitutions for Habanero

If you don't have any habanero peppers, try opting for a pinch of Grove Blend Chili Flakes. This handy blend of spices melds together the fruity, citrusy, and herby flavors of the Piri Piri, Anaheim, and habanero pepper. 

Extra tip - Lime tastes amazing sprinkled with Grove Blend Chili Flakes. Take a shot of tequila or sip on bourbon and bite on Grove Blend lime for a unique flavor experience!

How to Make Habanero Blackberry Bourbon

Makes 1 Drink


🌶 2 fl oz bourbon
🌶 1 fl oz simple syrup
🌶 2 fl oz fresh squeezed Orange Juice
🌶 1/2 habanero chili, stemmed and seeded or pinch of Grove Blend Chili Flakes
🌶 4 Blackberries
🌶 Lime wedge (Optional: Sprinkled with Grove Blend Chili Flakes)


  1. Combine bourbon, simple syrup and orange juice in a shaker and stir with ice.
  2. In a mason jar or high ball, muddle blackberries and habanero chili.
  3. Add ice and strain in the bourbon mixture.
  4. Garnish with a lime wedge.


Habanero-Candied Bacon


Your breakfast table will never be the same. The brown sugar and fat from the bacon act as restraints, curbing the chili’s intense heat just enough to let some of its subtler flavors come through. Pair this bacon with blueberry pancakes or waffles for a real treat.

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The Habanero Chili Pepper

When we taste and cook with chili peppers, heat is usually just one of many factors that we take into consideration. But with the habanero, heat is the name of the game. This fiery little chili, grown predominantly in the Caribbean, is impressively hot. But that doesn’t mean you should pigeonhole it for salsas and leave it at that. Behind its heat, the habanero has beautiful tropical notes and presents a worthy challenge to curious cooks.

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