Candied Jalapenos with Tequila

by autumn on July 17, 2014

Candied Jalapenos with Tequila // Autumn Makes & Does

I realized that I haven’t gone into much detail here about probably the biggest adjustment for me related to our move: we’re living in a town of about 7,500 people, shoved up against the Pinal Mountains. It’s an almost 2 hour drive to the nearest city (and Whole Foods). This is just the life I had been craving for a really long time, so I’m crossing my fingers hard every day that we can make this work. So, long story short, there’s no Union Square Greenmarket here. My local farmer’s market is a few folding tables for a few hours on Saturday mornings and I’m totally smitten.

Candied Jalapenos with Tequila // Autumn Makes & Does

Our fridge is still pretty lacking in the condiment department. I will admit to missing Mother in Law Kimchi, so I was looking for a quick-fix to fill the sweet/sour/spicy void in my life. I had pickled jalapenos before, but never candied them. I’m actually not a huge fan of sweet cucumber pickles like bread and butter, so I sort of went out on a limb with these and I loved how they turned out. I sliced them super thin because I wanted more of a sprinkle-able condiment (jalapeno sprinkles!?) than a pickle, something easy to incorporate into lots of stuff without further chopping. The tequila adds a nice bit of depth and is a gentle reminder that the leftover syrup would be lovely in a margarita. Of course, if you avoid alcohol feel free to omit the tequila.

Candied Jalapenos with Tequila // Autumn Makes & Does

Candied Jalapenos with Tequila
Recipe Type: condiment
Author: Autumn Giles
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
A small-batch candied Jalapeno recipe with tequila that is a great all purpose condiment, topping, or cocktail addition.
  • 6 medium jalapenos, sliced about the thickness of a quarter or less
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon tequila
  1. Stir to combine the vinegar and sugar over medium heat and bring to a boil. Watch it closely because it can boil over quickly.
  2. Once it boils, immediately reduce the heat to low and pour in the tequila (it will bubble and sputter a bit).
  3. Add the jalapenos and simmer for 3-4 minutes, until the jalapenos have darkened.
  4. Carefully pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer positioned over a pint jar.
  5. Spoon the reserved jalapenos into a small jar (half pint should be big enough if you sliced them quite thin) and add enough of the reserved syrup to cover.
  6. Cover and refrigerate the jalapenos and any extra syrup until ready to serve.


  • I have a very janky mandoline that I used to slice these to help avoid having to touch the peppers a lot. If you chop yours by hand, be sure to wear protective hand gear.
  • These will be best if you let them set at least overnight before eating.
  • This recipe is adapted from Serious Eats.
  • As you can see, I didn’t seed the jalapenos, but if you’d like to turn down the heat a bit you can remove the seeds before slicing.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 rcakewalk July 17, 2014 at 2:48 pm

I really can’t wait to hear more of your relocation stories… And brilliant jalapeño use, I’m making them!


2 autumn July 17, 2014 at 11:03 pm

Thanks, Rebecca! That means a lot coming from a preserving pro like you 🙂


3 val July 17, 2014 at 7:23 pm

That’s quite a move, and these look delicious. I noticed you were craving kimchi, of which I have been obsessed lately. It is super duper easy–especially with your preserving chops. If you have not tried it before, I encourage you…that is if you can score some napa cabbage on your next two hour grocery run.


4 autumn July 17, 2014 at 11:04 pm

haha! thanks, Val.


5 Thalia @ butter and brioche July 18, 2014 at 4:59 am

what a great idea.. never though of candying jalapenos before. definitely something i need to try!


6 Kate @ ¡Hola! Jalapeño July 21, 2014 at 12:11 pm

Whaaaaa?!!! Those sound amazing and I am absolutely making them when my jalapeños get big enough to pick. We too live in a town of about 7000—it makes for good stories. 🙂


7 Courtney July 21, 2014 at 1:20 pm

I cannot wait to hear more about the move, how you guys are liking the area, etc. Eric and I were just talking last night about you and wondering how things are going. We know how much time it takes to adjust to a new city, especially one so different than the last, so we are thinking about you guys.

We’ve got a jalapeño plant out back that might be getting used for a batch of these!


8 Julia July 23, 2014 at 12:40 am

The tequila is a nice touch, Autumn. I’m totally enjoying hearing about your new life!


9 Ting August 1, 2014 at 5:53 am

Hello Autumn, I’m new to preserving so bear with me. Would these be able to go into a hot water bath canning process? If so, it’s because the vinegar raises the acidity? My sister who lives in Hawaii would adore these! If I can preserve in hot water bath method I can ship your genius recipe of jalapeño delights!!!!


10 autumn August 5, 2014 at 3:31 am

Hi Ting, I always recommend folks stick with tested canning recipes. I’d recommend seeking one out. Plus, this makes so little (maybe even just shy of a pint) it wouldn’t be possible to can it anyway. Good like getting some spicy treats to Hawaii!


11 autumn August 5, 2014 at 5:07 am

good luck I meant!


12 Karin August 8, 2014 at 2:07 pm

These look amazing. Any idea how long will they last in the fridge?


13 Krisha August 24, 2014 at 9:10 pm

These are amazing – I made them yesterday and already we have been putting them on everything from sandwiches to eggs. SO GOOD! Thank you for this recipe. Have you tried canning them at all so that we can eat them all year long? I can’t wait to make some fab martinis with these too! Thank you again!


14 Krisha September 15, 2019 at 8:43 pm

Hello! Here I am again this year to make this from this season’s peppers. Been making them every year since 2014 it looks like. Just wanted to say thank you again for this recipe. So Good!


Leave a Comment

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: