My good friend and former bartending buddy Lisa has an amazing balcony filled with all kinds of exotic and edible plants. With the last harvest of summer came an abundance of massive jalapeños and beautiful fresh basil. I popped some of her jalapeños into a bottle of gin the night before a dinner party, not having a clue what I would make with it the following evening.

An array of vegetables and herbs sitting on a white table, including jalepeño, tomato, basil and flowers
The bounty of Lisa’s balcony (photo by Lisa Swarna Khanna)

Someone showed up to the party with a can of coconut milk for a peanut sauce recipe, and I knew it was meant to be. I had to mix the leftover creamy coconut milk together with that spicy jalapeño gin. The fresh limes and homemade lime cordial in the fridge seemed like a perfect fit to round out this combination.

The resulting drink was a serious crowd pleaser. Everyone loved it. The vegetal vibes of the basil and the heat of the jalapeño work exceptionally well with tart lime juice and cooling coconut milk.

A close up overhead shot of a white cocktail with basil garnish surrounded by jalepeños and limes

The jalapeño gin couldn’t be easier. Just halve a jalapeño, scoop out the seeds, cut a few thin strips, pop them in the gin and wait about 24 hours. I used half a bottle of gin and three strips (about a quarter) of a large jalapeño. This came out plenty spicy. In fact, I recommend keeping some extra gin on hand just in case your infusion gets too spicy and you need to dilute it down.

Jalapeño infused gin



  1. Muddle basil with lime juice
  2. Shake with all other ingredients on ice
  3. Double strain into a fancy stem glass
  4. Garnish with a sprig of basil

Other drinks to enjoy