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3 November 2017

A hot sauce recipe made with your favorite hot peppers, garlic, honey and dark rum. Just a touch of sweet with your ideal level of heat. Drizzle it over everything.

Got another hot sauce coming your way, my friends. We’re not fermenting the peppers this time – see “How to Ferment Chili Peppers” if you’re interested in that subject – but instead working with fresh chili peppers that we’ll be roasting.

Roasting your peppers is a good way to coax out additional flavors for your resulting hot sauce. It’s a super simple sauce recipe with very few steps, though you’ll be crazy happy with the end flavors.

Honey Roasted Hot Pepper Hot Sauce – Recipe

I’m calling this a more generic “Hot Pepper Sauce” recipe as you can see because you can make this with any pepper of your choice, realistically. I grew so many peppers in our garden this year and this is me basically using some of them up.

Notes on the Hot Sauce

I used a collection of Squash Red peppers, Jamaican Hots, and Brain Strain peppers, which are incredibly HOT, classified as superhot chili peppers.

I was going for something VERY hot that I can spoon into chili, which I LOVE making this time of year, or for swirling into soups and stews to bring up the heat of the entire pot.

Chili Pepper Substitutions

You are free to use whatever chili peppers you prefer to achieve a heat level you desire. You don’t have to be a crazy man like me, eating the superhots. I’ll have to make a milder version for Patty using a couple habanero peppers and rounding it out with sweeter peppers.

She loves a good hot sauce, too, but isn’t a fan of the superhots. Too hot for her! I have some sweet peppers fermenting right now for her.

Here is that Recipe – Sweet Pepper Chili Sauce.

Honey Roasted Hot Pepper Hot Sauce – Recipe

The process is easy enough to make the hot sauce.

Making this Honey Roasted Hot Pepper Hot Sauce – The Recipe Method

In a nutshell, you’ll chop your peppers and mix all of the ingredients, except the vinegar, together in a bowl. Spread it all out over a baking sheet and roast them in the oven for about 12 minutes to cook everything down a bit.

Cool it all slightly then process it all up in a food processor with apple cider vinegar.

You can strain the sauce at this point if you’d like a smoother sauce, but it’s already pretty smooth. I didn’t strain mine. You can still see some of the seeds in there. I sort of like that sometimes. Makes it feel more rustic, though go for your preference.

You’ll definitely get your preferred heat along with a sweet finish from the honey and brown sugar, though it isn’t TOO sweet. You’ll also notice the pungency of the garlic, basil and dark rum for complexity.

Give a try, my friends! Let me know it turns out for you. I hope you like it! — Mike H.

Adjusting the Hot Sauce Heat Factor

You will get a good range of heat depending on your peppers of choice, but note that the honey and brown sugar mellow out that heat slightly. If you’re looking for hot sauce with a BANG, go with ghost peppers or hotter.

Frequently Asked Hot Sauce Questions

Here are answers to some of the most common questions I get on other sauces:

How long will this sauce keep?

It should keep a few months easily in the fridge, or even longer. It’s all about the acidity. To be technical, target level ph for shelf stable foods is below 4.6 ph, but should probably be lower for home cooks, around 4.0 or so, to account for errors. If you’re concerned, add more vinegar to lower the ph. Sauces made with fermented chili peppers will last even longer.

Where’d you get that sauce bottle?

I find them locally sometimes, but I also order through Amazon. Here is a link to some bottles I like (affiliate link, my friends!): Swing Top Glass Bottles, 8.5 Ounce – Set of 4. If you like the smaller bottles that most hot sauce makers use, here’s another link: Hot Sauce Bottles, 5 Oz – 24 Pack.

Can I process this hot sauce for longer storage?

Absolutely. Just be sure to use proper canning/jarring safety procedures.

What should I do with hot sauce?

Aside from drizzling it over anything you please, here’s a post I did about How to Cook with Hot Sauce. As if you need even MORE reasons to eat hot sauce. I hope you find it helpful!

Check out These Related Recipes:

Check out more Hot Sauce Recipes or learn more about How to Make Hot Sauce.

Honey Roasted Hot Pepper Hot Sauce – Recipe

If you try this recipe, please let us know! Leave a comment, rate it and tag a photo #ChiliPepperMadness on Instagram so we can take a look. I always love to see all of your spicy inspirations. Thanks! — Mike H.

Honey Roasted Hot Pepper Hot Sauce – Recipe
Print Recipe
4.77 from 13 votes

Honey Roasted Hot Pepper Hot Sauce – Recipe

A hot sauce recipe made with your favorite hot peppers, garlic, honey and dark rum. Just a touch of sweet with your ideal level of heat. Drizzle it over everything.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course, Salsa
Cuisine: American
Keyword: habanero, hot sauce
Servings: 20
Calories: 29kcal


  • 8 ounces hot peppers chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1-1/2 cups apple cider vinegar 12 oz
  • Salt to taste
  • Juice from 1 lime


  • To a large bowl, add hot peppers, garlic, basil, brown sugar, honey and rum. Mix well.
  • Spread the mixture over a baking sheet, reserving any remaining liquid from the bowl.
  • Roast in the oven for 12 minutes at 350 degrees F.
  • Cool slightly then add the mixture to a food processor with the reserved liquid, apple cider vinegar and salt to taste. Process until smooth.
  • Swirl in lime juice and pour the sauce into a glass container or bottle. Cover and let it sit for at least 24 hours or longer for the flavors to blend.


Enjoy! Makes about 2 cups.
Heat Level: Hot.


Calories: 29kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 46mg | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 120IU | Vitamin C: 16.5mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.2mg
Honey Roasted Hot Pepper Hot Sauce - Recipe



  1. 5 stars
    Love it. Do this recipe every year. Every year a little different. This year used 8 0z of Thai chili peppers and three Carolina reapers. So good.

  2. 5 stars
    I live on Cape Cod and brought it to an oyster fest we had today. It was the hugest hit served with the fresh oysters! I made this with a combo of hot peppers from my garden cut a little bit with red bell bell peppers. Everyone wants a bottle for the holidays so I guess I will be making more! Thank you. It was fantastic!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Nice! Thanks, Chrissie! Super happy you enjoyed it.

  3. 5 stars
    Hey man, thanks for a recipe. I used 100 grams of some variety of 7-pots, lemon juice as i didn’t have any lime and some black sugar as well as it seemed to complement rum well.
    Great website!

  4. Jason Gillman

    Do you recommend not trying to ferment this recipe? I was going to ferment the peppers and garlic and then follow the instructions from there. Thoughts?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Jason, you can ferment them first. Give it a go and let me know how it turns out for you!

  5. Hi there

    Could I use a mix of dried habanero and fresh chillies? If so should I soak the dried chillies first and then roast along with the fresh ones?



    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Rachel, absolutely. The method is a bit different, though. Instead of roasting them in the oven, toast them in a dry pan while still dried, only a minute or so. Don’t let them burn. Then rehydrate the dried peppers in hot water and use them alongside the roasted fresh pods. Let me know how it turns out for you. I have a post here on How to Make Hot Sauce from Dried Peppers you can refer to:

  6. So far so good Mike! I’ve just completed bottling into old (sanitised) hot sauce bottles. I was short a few grams of thai red birds eye chilli so I substituted a small amount with cherry tomato (is this ok?). I’m just wondering if the mix is meant to have a lot of small bubbles in it, seemingly rising to the top? Its almost like its instantly fermenting, I guess because of the Apple Cider Vinegar? and because the mixture isn’t reheated after final blending? Also in your above FAQ I’m wondering what you mean by “Can I process this to make it last longer?” what exactly do you mean by process? Cheers from Australia

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Great, Shannon. Yes, tomato would be a nice addition. I hope you enjoy it. The bubbles are natural, probably just from the blending. It will settle. Canning refers to processing your filled bottles in a water bath to preserve them, or you can try a pressure canner.

  7. 5 stars
    Really enjoyed this recipe. Used what ever chilis I had at home, most of it Peter pepper and Ají Limón to go with a couple unknown extremely hot chilis. The result was fantastic, will without a doubt use this recipe again.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Excellent! Glad you enjoyed it, Dan. I love this one, too.

  8. Charles O'Connor

    4 stars
    I tried this recipe out with some good results! I had to use Serrano peppers since that was the only fresh option at my grocery store at the time. I love most of the flavor of the sauce but I am not a fan of the “sweet pepper” taste that is very prominent. How could I adjust this recipe to reduce that pepper taste (which I assume is just from the taste of the skin of the pepper itself)?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, Charles. I appreciate it. I’m not sure how you can change the sweet pepper taste, as that is the flavor of the serranos in general, though you could increase the other ingredients to offset that flavor. Enjoy.

  9. 5 stars
    Love this sauce! I had a ton of peppers so made a double recipe and strained half and kept the other half without straining. Fun recipe! It’s beautiful to cook. I didn’t read all the directions and strained half before waiting 24 hours but it’s still spicy and flavorful and at least I have the other un-strained half.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      That’s perfect, Elena! Now you can enjoy it both ways! It’s OK to strain it quickly. The flavors will still develop a bit after some time. Glad you are enjoying it!

  10. I have a bumper crop of Tabasco peppers (yeah, poor me!). Will their unique juiciness require any alteration to the recipe?
    Thank you.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Great peppers, Tina! Yes, you’ll notice a flavor difference for sure, but only in a good way! Let me know how it turns out for you.

  11. William Brecheen

    Sorry for my ignorance, but am going to make this tomorrow with Scorpions and Naga Morich. When you say 8 oz. of peppers, do you mean 1/2 lb. or do you mean a cup? It would obviously make a difference. Lol

  12. 4 stars
    We made this hot sauce and it came out great. But it’s a bit more vinegary flavored than we’d prefer and not as hot as we’d like. We have more chili peppers in hand. What do you recommend to lessen the vinegar taste and increase the heat with the batch we made? We’d like to take the batch we have and modify it. Can we do that. We only made it a few days ago and it’s been sealed in the fridge since. Please help us. Thank you

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Matt, you can make another batch without all the vinegar, then combine the two batches to balance out your preferred flavor. That’s the best way, really. Or just reprocess your current batch with more roasted peppers, perhaps a touch of water if it gets too thick. Let me know how that turns out for you.

  13. 5 stars
    I just tried this recipe last night, and I tasted it tonight. I am very impressed. Are used a combination of consisted of mostly Carolina reapers, one cow horn, and one jalapeño. Karam are used a 23-year-old dark rum. The one thing I might mention about the recipe, is how bad it sticks to the pan during roasting. When I make it again, I will try to use some parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet. Overall I really like the sauce. When trying it tonight, I did not know what to expect for sure. But the sweetness of the honey, rum and brown sugar played well with the hot peppers. Very nice heat buildup on the back that lasted for just a little bit. I am looking forward to using this later. Thanks for the great site, with all the great recipes.
    One question though, what are your thoughts about leaving the seeds in the sauce? I did not strain it yet, but at the same time I am concerned about them causing a better affect as it sits.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Excellent, James. Thanks. For the seeds, I usually just leave them in, but you can either core the peppers first or strain afterward. Some people report a bitterness with the seeds, but that’s mostly if they are ground or cut open. Most times I really don’t notice an effect. I’ll usually remove the seeds when cooking with dried pods.

  14. I presently have some serranos fermenting. Do you see an issue roasting them after fermenting?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Philip, I don’t see any issue with that. They will probably be pretty soft, though. Are you fermenting them whole? I suppose you can do that, perhaps broiler method.

  15. 4 stars
    Just made this sauce with a scorpion tail peppers. Super hot but tasty. But the sauce is a little thin. Any suggestions for thickening?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Mark, you have a few options. You can process in more peppers to thicken it up, or you can add the sauce to a small pot and let some of the liquid simmer out of it until it thickens. Or, mix in a bit of corn starch in a pan as a thickener. As you heat it, the sauce will thicken up. Just use a little at a time. Let me know if this helps.

  16. 5 stars
    Made this today, and it’s amazing. Didn’t use rum though. I found it too runny after blending with the vinegar, so boiled it down a bit to thicken it up, then quickly gave it another whizz in the blender. Came out perfect!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Perfect, Emanuele! Glad you liked it!

  17. When the recipe says to spread mixture over baking sheet, reserving any remaining moisture from the bowl. What do you do with the liquid that is left over – do you discard it or add it back in when you process the mixture in the food processor?

    REPLY: Carolyn, good catch. You can add that to the food processor as well. I’ve updated the recipe. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  18. 5 stars
    I’ve just made this tonight (tried some using California Reapers, it’s like pure fire!), when you say let it sit is that on the side or in the fridge?
    Does it make a difference either way?
    Many thanks for the recipe!

    REPLY: Thanks, Tom. You can let it sit in the fridge for a day or so. Glad you like it! — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  19. do you have to use rum or is there a substitute

    REPLY: Pieter, you can omit the rum if you’d like. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  20. In the first responsor you say 20-30 ghost peppers? Really that many?


    REPLY: Deb, yes, you can make this sauce with that many peppers, but if that is too many, try it with 10, or a mixture of peppers. See how that goes for you. Just measure out 8 ounces of peppers on a kitchen scale. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  21. Linda Crowley

    I’ll be using ghost peppers-how many do you recommend?

    REPLY: Linda, you could use 20-30 ghost peppers for this, or you can mix it up and use a blend of peppers. –Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  22. Would you call 8oz of peppers a 1 cup measure? Also, what are your thoughtson using whole frozen peppers if I defrost them? Thank you.

    REPLY: Karen, typically 8 ounces is 1 cup, but I would go by weight rather than volume in this case, though it’s pretty close either way. Yes, you can use thawed frozen peppers. No problem. Let me know how it turns out for you. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  23. In your instructions on the apple cider vinegar was is 15 or 1 point 5 cups.

    REPLY: Dave, it is 1-1/2 cups. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

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