Pique (Puerto Rican Style Hot Sauce)
- about 1 cup cider vinegar (I like Bragg’s Raw Apple Cider Vinegar)
- about 12 long hot peppers (You can use any combination of jalapeno, arbol, scotch bonnet, habanero, cayenne, etc…)
- 4-6 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
- 12 black peppercorns
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher (or other non-iodized) salt
- 1/2 a bay leaf
Other optional tasty additions:
- Several stems of fresh cilantro or fresh oregano
- a squeeze or two of lime juice
- toasted cumin seed
- a splash of rum
- 1 clean, empty glass bottle of about 12-ounce capacity with a tight fitting lid. If there is a removable plastic shaker top, that is even better! Remove the shaker top prior to filling and set aside. An empty rice wine vinegar bottle works very well.
Drop the garlic cloves, peppercorns, salt and bay leaf (and any of your optional additions) down into the bottle.
Remove the stems from the hot peppers. Leave the seeds and membranes intact if you want your Pique spicy! If necessary, slice the peppers lengthwise until they are a size that fits easily into the mouth of the bottle. Insert peppers (or peppers strips) into the bottle. Use a funnel to pour vinegar into the bottle to cover the peppers and spices. If your bottle has a shaker top, snap it back into place, add the lid and set out on the counter for two days. After two days, store your Pique in the refrigerator. You can top off with vinegar when it starts getting low. When the peppers start losing their punch, use a chopstick to remove the peppers and start over!