Habanero Bitters

High heat cocktail spicing…

Aromatic and flavorful?  Check. Spicy? Triple check. Habanero bitters take no prisoners, so use with care. It’s high heat habanero fruitiness mixed with the big flavors of molasses, allspice, and cloves. A dash or two may be all your cocktail needs to spice it to sun-like life. As with any high-heat chili pepper, be sure to use gloves when creating this recipe. Habanero chili burn is nothing to trifle with. 

Habanero Bitters

5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 d
Total Time 10 d 20 mins
Servings 2 cups


  • 2 cups Absolut 100 or another 100 proof vodka
  • 18 habanero peppers seeds in, cut into quarters
  • 2 limes cut into eighths
  • 12 allspice berries crushed
  • 4 whole cloves crushed
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinchona bark powder


  • Add the habanero peppers, limes, allspice, molasses, and cinchona bark powder to a sealable glass jar, then pour the Absolut 100 over top. Seal the jar and give it a swirl or light shake to mix the ingredients.
  • Allow the mix to steep for 10 to 14 days, lightly shaking the mix once a day.
  • Strain the liquid through a filter, then pour the liquid into either dasher bottles or dropper bottles.
  • Enjoy a drop or two at a time!


Did you make this?Mention @PepperScale or tag #PepperScale so we can see what you made!

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on August 17, 2019 to include new content. It was originally published on December 2, 2015.
  • Hi. Is there something else I could use instead of cinchona bark powder or is it essential to the recipe? I can’t find it in any stores and I’m worried about cinchonism if I don’t strain it well enough.

    • Hi Rachel – I’ve never made it without it. There are different bittering agents out there, but each brings a particular flavor (some sweeter/more bitter, etc than others).

  • Hi. Can you confirm whether this can steep on a shelf or whether this needs to be in the fridge? It’s one of the few bitters recipes with fresh vegetable matter in it so I’m not certain. Thank you!

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