Ginfuego is quite simply Lee Spirits Co. Gin macerated with hot peppers and other spices. It’s slightly sweetened as well and despite Ginfuego being bottled at 45% ABV, it is technically speaking a gin liqueur.
The spirit has slight warm peach to it that calls to mind the color of water after soaking a dried chili pepper in it.
Ginfuego to the nose isn’t overwhelming with spice. I get notes of Poblano pepper flesh, fresh cut red bell peppers, roasted Hatch chilis and a hint of paprika. The aroma is strongly true to the vegetal character of the fruits, with even an almost sweet floral heat like a hot pepper and peach jam.
The palate is quite balanced with some of the contemporary gin character of Lee Spirits’ Dry Gin coming through as well. Juniper especially has a leading presence early and on the mid-palate. Cardamom comes on a bit late, which is when the pepper’s begin to show they’re gentle fieriness.
Ginfuego becomes a bit smokier later on with notes of roasted chili pepper, Tabasco and a fruitiness of fresh red bell pepper. All complimented with a dash of sweetness. It also a nice viscosity to it as well.
Nicely balanced as well, the heat is closer to a medium salsa than it is to biting into a fresh hot pepper.
Certainly Ginfuego doesn’t lend itself to being easily swapped in many traditional gin cocktails. Though it seems designed to be drank as a shot, I think cocktail fans might appreciate how well it works in a Red Snapper or even a Gibson.
Lee Spirits Co. recommends it in a Mule. And the heat of Ginfuego is nicely complemented by a good ginger beer.
But that’s the key— Ginfuego is a not some fireball liqueur that began it’s life as gin. It’s a balance of gin and hot pepper. If you were intrigued by Ginifer Chilli Gin and were saddened by its limited availability, American gin drinkers this is your answer.
Recommended in its category.