When you eat a super hot pepper or salsa, ever wonder why you love the way it burns? Those burning lips and tongue have pain receptors, which feel the pain and subsequently release endorphins. This reduces the pain and makes you feel good–similar to a runner’s high.
In cocktails, you can muddle, steep into simple syrup, garnish, zest, and infuse spirits with peppers. Simple syrup with your favorite pepper is just that, simple: one part water to one part sugar. Bring water and sugar to a boil and add your sliced pepper. Reduce heat to a simmer for about 10 minutes, let cool and pour into a squeeze bottle. It will be good for about two weeks and you’ll have it on hand to add to your favorite cocktail. Experiment and enjoy!