If you’ve ever visited or lived in the South, then chances are you’ve seen (and hopefully tasted) hot pepper vinegar. It’s the condiment of choice for any type of cooked green, field peas, acre peas… the list goes on. The super fabulous thing about hot pepper vinegar is that it’s more than just a condiment!

  1. Is so easy to make; any greenhorn cook can do it!
  2. It’s beautiful, so it’s a natural DIY gift.

Now, while peppers and vinegar may not sound all that exciting, wait until you taste it. And you will have to wait, because after preparing the vinegar, you’ll need to give it some sit time in your pantry for a few weeks for the flavors to develop. But trust me, much like wine and your wedding day, it’s worth the wait.

Our garden’s pepper plants went the distance this year and survived from May to December, so with this last bowlful, I decided to restore our pepper vinegar stash.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Two handfuls of hot peppers (very accurate, I know)

White vinegar

Whole garlic cloves (optional)

Empty, clear jar with lid (I like to use leftover maple syrup jars)

Small funnel


Directions: Wash off peppers and gently slice the tops off–this will expose the seeds and membrane to the vinegar, and that’s where the heat is. While you’re slicing, place vinegar in a small pot on the stove over medium high heat. The amount of vinegar you need depends on how big of a jar you’re using. Pack your jar full of the peppers; when you don’t think you can cram another pepper in, add two more or add in a few peeled, whole garlic cloves. This will give your pepper vinegar an extra pop.


Once your vinegar has reached a slow boil, use your funnel and fill your jar almost to the top. (You do want all of the peppers to be covered by the vinegar.)


Let the jar cool, then screw on lid and place in a cool, dark place for several weeks (a pantry or cabinet is perfect). The vinegar should keep in your cabinet for months, or until you use it all and make more. Enjoy!


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