tacos - steak A drizzle of Gil’s Habanero Tequila Oil will spice up dish—north or south of the border. Photo courtesy of Frontera Foods.




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CAITLIN BARRETT was previously a member of the editorial staff of THE NIBBLE.



October 2005
Updated October 2009

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Oils, Vinegars & Salad Dressings

Gil’s Habanero Tequila Oil

Hot Chili Oil Wakes Up Everyday Dishes



CAPSULE REPORT: Hardcore “chile heads” take note: Gil’s Habanero Tequila Oil is a fiery must-have addition to your infused oils. It adds potent heat to everything it touches, making it a muy impactful flavor enhancer.


The habanero pepper gets its name from Havana, Cuba, where lively flavors reign. Habaneros are among the hottest chile peppers in the world and rate around 200,000 to 300,000 Scoville Heat Units or SHUs (Scoville units are used to measure the heat of peppers—cayenne peppers usually fall into the range of 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville units. See our Chile Glossary to compare the different types.)

Habaneros have long been a staple of Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine, though they also work well in Asian and regional American dishes. Gil’s Habanero Tequila Oil, an olive oil that has been infused with habaneros and alcohol-free tequila flavor, is not quite that hot, though it is definitely not for the shy of palate. Floating in each stylishly slender bottle of Gil’s are whole dried habanero pods and chile de arbol peppers...along with natural extract of habanero peppers and hot red pepper flavoring, just to ensure that no drop fails to deliver its payload.

This is the point where we disclose that we are not hot sauce junkies: we have delicate gourmet palates and do not seek heat-for-heat’s sake. We found Gil’s Habanero Tequila Oil to be one of those especially well-crafted products that brings together quality olive oil and true, discernable chile flavor...and yes, the heat that goes along with it. But Gil’s stands out in a field of high-SHU products whose only flavor is hot.

Gil’s Habanero Tequila Oil affords flexibility in cooking and entertaining, because you can use the oil straight, or dilute it with regular olive oil to keep the flavor and “cool down” the heat.

habanerosAren’t they pretty? You can grow habaneros at home with seeds from USHotstuff.com. Just don’t take a bite.

How To Use Hot Tequila Olive Oil

You can use Gil’s anywhere you would use quality olive oil. Here are some of the places we’ve taken it:

  • Dipping Sauce. Use it as a dipping oil with sliced baguette. Decorate the platter with actual chiles and even the bottle of Gil’s (it’s nice to look at).  It’s good munching at at any gathering, and especially great with cold beer (and at Super Bowl parties).
  • Garlic Toast. Fire up regular garlic toast by spreading a few drops on the bread under the garlic spread.
  • Mashed Potatoes. Spicy mashed potatoes? Mmmmm. Mash with half butter, half habanero oil.  Add some fresh basil or cilantro.  Legal disclosure: THE NIBBLE bears no responsibility for any resulting addiction to this dish.
  • Pasta. Mix to taste with cooked pasta, either before saucing or as its own spicy sauce. Just add grated cheese. For a devilishly good time, grate habanero cheddar cheese, have that fiery garlic bread on the side, and drink with chili beer.  Just be sure you’re over 21 and have cleared this meal with your healthcare provider.
  • Rubs & Marinades. Rub it on meat or seafood before roasting or grilling. Add the oil to marinades.
  • Salsa. Make a bowl of mild salsa instantly hot by stirring in a teaspoon of Gil’s...or just add a few drops to kick up a fruit salsa.
  • Stir-Frys, Crab Cakes & More. We love the way this oil lends spiciness to a simple vegetable stir-fry or Asian noodle dish. We couldn’t stop there: we used it to make hot pepper shrimp, a spicy habanero aïoli, sauteed Asian beef and spicy crab cakes.
  • Vinaigrette. Make a spicy vinaigrette—use half regular olive oil, half Gil’s, or 2/3:1/3.

True devotees of spicy foods will be able to plan an entire meal based around this one jar of oil. Its versatility makes it great for breakfast (eggs), lunch and dinner dishes; and those willing to do a little experimenting might even be able to work this burning oil into a dessert (spicy sautéed bananas and peaches with vanilla ice cream, perhaps?).

Let us know how you enjoy it.

Habanero Tequila Oil

  • 12.7-Ounce Bottle

Purchase online* at GilsGourmet.com

*Prices and product availability are verified at publication but are subject to change. Shipping is additional. These items are offered by a third party and THE NIBBLE has no relationship with them. Purchase information is provided as a reader convenience.

Gils spicy oil

Slim, exotic and
a red hot mama.