Have we reached the era of peak ghost pepper? The unavoidable “hottest pepper on earth” is used to flavor — a term used loosely here — Ghost Tequila, which actually begins with a 100% agave base spirit. Designed for consumption as a shot (perhaps the punishment the loser of a bar bet is stricken with), the spirit was actually invented by a Boston bartender as a homegrown infusion before it went commercial.
The nose leads with agave, but also with notes of orange and lemon — masking some hints of pepper underneath. This is probably intentional; without the fruit, the aroma might be too off-putting for most to even take a sip of it.
The heat is there, of course, and it hits the palate with a lot of that citrus-driven sweetness, something like biting into a mandarin orange that’s been studded with cinnamon red hots and dosed with cayenne pepper. The pepper is fortunately manageable — hot, but not overwhelming, and not pungent and sour in the way that pepper can come across in other pepper-infused spirits. Here you definitely taste more than the pepper, a classic “sweet heat” experience that offers a finish of both sides of the coin in roughly equal measures.
Drinkers looking for a “dare” bottle to keep on the back bar may enjoy this the most, but I can also see how it would work in a spicy margarita or paloma (at least in moderation).