Not that I would ever want to be one, but it is now clear to me that I could not be a heart surgeon. I cannot do knots. I can’t tie my shoes. Heck, I can barely tie candied jalapeno strips.

From Cocktails for the Four Seasons, by Jenny Park and Teri Lyn Fisher, there comes this wonderfully clever idea [actually two ideas, but that become evident below]. To dress up a cocktail, add a tiny candied jalapeno knot. These are barely a half inch across, but I think they have multiple uses. You could dot a cocktail cheese plate with these, top off some gazpacho, … The possibilities are quite diverse.

Tomorrow, you’ll see a cocktail picture with one knot hard at work. Today, it’s all about how to prepare the knots.

There is a side benefit to making the candied strips. You have left over simply syrup in which the jalapeno strips have cooked for an hour. SAVE THE SYRUP. It goes in tomorrow’s drink. It goes in Margaritas [where I was using sugar syrup anyway but now …].

The jalapeno knots have, what else, sweet heat. They are fun. The jalapeno syrup is stronger, hearty, smoky and not to be treated lightly. Any stronger and I suspect you could use it to blast open a safe. But, that’s another post.

Candied Jalapeno Knots

Yield: around 20


  • 2 large jalapeno peppers [the longer the better]
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar


Cut off the ends of the jalapenos, then open them up and removed the ribs and seeds. Thinly slice the strips as best you can. You do want them thin because, ultimately, you are going to have to tie each one in a knot.

Use a shallow pan and pour in the water and sugar. Place over medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Lower the heat to medium-low and add the jalapeno strips. Cook for 1 hour.

Preheat an oven to 200°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Remove the strips from the pan with a slotted spoon, allowing to drip dry. Immediately tie each one into a knot. [Note, I found this to be difficult. The strips are hot and sticky, and mine were not terribly long. Do the best you can. I compromised by “folding” instead of actually knotting in many cases.]

Place the knots on the aluminum foil and put them in the oven. All the knots to dry out with oven door slightly ajar for 4 to 6 hours. When dry, really dry, they are not sticky to the touch. And, yes, they will have whitish sugar crystals attached.

Source: Cocktails for the Four Seasons, by Jenny Park and Teri Lyn Fisher

Photo Information [top]: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/2.8, 1/100th second, ISO-800