Hot Pepper Vinegar

Have extra hot peppers sitting around?

Hot pepper vinegar is easy to make and looks beautiful in the kitchen. And, best of all, it lasts a long time. It’s a southern dining table staple, often found next to salt and pepper and providing a mellow spice to many a meal.

Hot pepper vinegar is the simplest form of hot sauce, just peppers and vinegar (with a few simple extras). So you can enjoy it on any dish that could use a dab of heat. It’s also terrific with salad greens, both raw and wilted, and let’s just say it’s killer on french fries. Any skinny chili pepper will work, but we think serranos are the perfect heat and shape.

This is the perfect recipe to use up those extra chili peppers left over from harvest. If that’s the case, be sure to also check out our jalapeño infused olive oil which is another great “extra pepper” recipe.

Hot pepper vinegar

Hot Pepper Vinegar

Hot sauce in its simplest form
4.32 from 32 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Condiment
Servings 16 servings
Calories 3 kcal


  • Serrano peppers at least a dozen, a mix of red and green look best
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar


  • Cut the end and the tip off of the serrano peppers and place them in a clean sauce bottle. Tamp down the peppers slightly and fill up the bottle about 1/2 with peppers.
  • Mix the vinegars and bring them to a boil.
  • Slowly pour the vinegar into the bottle using a funnel. Fill the bottle up to an inch of the top and seal the top with a cap or cork.
  • Let the bottle sit at room temperature for a minimum of one week before using, but three weeks is recommended for optimal heat.


Feel free to use different hot peppers to vary the heat. Habaneros work very well for a major heat bump.


Calories: 3kcalPotassium: 5mg
Keyword Serrano Pepper
Did you make this?Mention @PepperScale or tag #PepperScale so we can see what you made!

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on March 19, 2022 to include new content.
4.32 from 32 votes (31 ratings without comment)
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5 stars
I made it with Carolina Reaper peppers… 🔥🔥🔥 I have never mixed the vinegars before with my pepper sauce but it was excellent. Point of necessity is to wear gloves when processing the Carolina Reaper peppers. I didn’t and even after washing my hands extremely well using the restroom proved to, lets say set things on fire 🔥🔥🔥.