Fruity Habeñero Hot Sauce


I’ve made this hot sauce scores of times by now, and I don’t think I’ve ever made it quite the same way twice.  But it’s always superb and I usually wind up sending heat-loving friends home with a jar.  You really can’t go wrong if you remain roughly within in the proportions of the recipe, which you can see clearly in my photo of my filled blender jar.

The key ingredient is, of course, fresh habañero pepper (also known as the scotch bonnet).  If you just find habañeros “hot,” then this probably isn’t the condiment for you.  But if you find them fruity, sweet, and incidentally hot, you’re going to love it.  While the cilantro is optional (since some people hate it and some people love it), it’s essential for those who enjoy the flavor.  

If you’re out of pineapple juice, orange juice works as well. Pureed mango may work even better. I’ve experimented with adding small amounts of lemon or lime juice with interesting results, but you really need sweetness in there, so if you swap out the pineapple juice for a more sour citrus, make sure to increase the brown sugar. You could substitute honey or molasses for the brown sugar, but it’ll change the taste so make sure those are flavors you like.  Cheap yellow mustard (the kind I used to eat on Nathan’s hot dogs as a kid) is an essential ingredient. For me, the recipe isn’t as tasty without garlic, but if you’re allergic I don’t think you’ll ruin anything by omitting it.

You also can’t do without the vinegar, though you can play with vinegar flavors.  It’s the combination of vinegar and hot peppers that’ll ensure this hot sauce will keep almost forever in your refrigerator (but not outside it).  If you don’ have enough room in your refrigerator for several jars, you can freeze them.  Just remember to leave space at the top of the jar for the hot sauce to expand in the freezer.

Fruity Habañero Hot Sauce

Kali Tal
Habañeros mix with tropical fruit to create a hot sauce like no other.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Course Condiment
Cuisine Caribbean
Servings 60 servings


  • 1 blender


  • habañero peppers
  • cilantro (optional)
  • white onion (yellow onions are also fine)
  • yellow mustard
  • fresh garlic
  • dark brown sugar
  • fresh or canned pineapple juice
  • fruit vinegar (pear or apple work best, but white or white wine vinegar will do in a pinch)


  • Layer all ingredients in the blender. If you have a Blendtec, Vitamix or other powerful blender, use the "whole juice" setting. You may have to blend twice to make the sauce perfectly smooth.
  • Pour into bottles or jars and store in the refrigerator or freezer.


Use about 1 part vinegar to 2 parts pineapple juice or mango puree.  You only want to put enough liquid in the blender to ensure the hot sauce thins enough to be pourable.  The photo should give you some sense of proportions.
And here's the obligatory warning about habeñeros -- when you stem them (and if you seed them), wash your hands with soap and hot water several times and don't touch your eyes or sensitive parts of your (or other people's) bodies.  
Don't use fancy mustard.  Seriously. Crappy yellow mustard like French's is really the best for this recipe. Dijon will throw the flavor off.
This will keep a bazillion years in your refrigerator, unless you leave the bottle open and it dries out.  Mine never lasts long, no matter how much I make. 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Kali Tal

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By Kali Tal