Country of origin: USA Alcohol content: 44% Alcohol by volume.
They love spicy foods at Bittermens. In fact, habaneros appear in everything from cream sauces to omelets at home. However, they have found that when people try to make spicy cocktails, much of the time the flavor falls short.
The problem as they see it isn’t the heat – it’s how the heat is incorporated into the cocktail. Infusing jalapeño peppers into tequila is perfect if you want a tequila drink. However, simply putting commercial hot sauces, sambal or sriracha into a cocktail usually throws off the cocktail’s balance.
The way that most hot sauces are made is by blending peppers with vinegar, salt and other spices. Vinegar, eh? That sure sounds like a shrub. Shrubs are classically refreshing fruit and vinegar-based syrups that were sweetened and diluted to make a beverage since revolutionary times. Instead of making a berry shrub or an orange shrub, why not make a hot pepper shrub?
Bittermens fortified the shrub with alcohol (to better extract the flavours from the spices) and made it much more concentrated, so you only need to use drops to get the desired effect… which, in this case, is a good ol’ bit of heat.