Immunity Infusion. Lily at Zocalo makes this most tantalizing concoction with muddled ginger slices, lemon, honey, hot water, herbal tea, and her magic pepper syrup. I love the tingle I get from the hot chile peppers—it’s just simple syrup infused with some sliced chile peppers. She does have access to some magic peppers, but I was able to make an acceptable stand in using a couple serranos and a habanero.
Simple Syrup is easy: equal parts sugar, water and whatever you want to infuse, from sliced peppers to flower petals. Heat until sugar is dissolved, let cool, strain out any solids and you’ve got syrup for a few weeks. I like to keep mine refrigerated, but if you get into a little chemistry, you can have counter-stable syrup that will last you 6 months (you’ve got to add a little acid and boil everything about 20 minutes to separate the sucrose into glucose and fructose, but you have to do this without turning the whole pan into caramel…which wouldn’t be a completely bad thing…“cocktail Jen” has a good post for Not So Simple Syrup, here.
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1 or 2 Serrano (or other) hot chile peppers, sliced thinly (your call on the seeds - include them for more heat)
- In a small saucepan, add water and sugar. Set over high heat and bring to boil. Toss in the chiles and lower heat to medium and simmer a couple minutes, until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain out and discard peppers and seeds. Store syrup in glass container and refrigerate for up to 1 month.