Datil Pepper Hot Sauce

Living in Northeast Florida, you probably know someone with a recipe for datil pepper sauce. But this is Pat Hamilton's Datil Pepper Sauce! The majority of datil peppers grown in the U.S. are produced in St. Augustine and are a cornerstone in the foods and folklore of the Minorcan culture. Datil peppers have been compared in spiciness to habanero peppers, although they are unparalleled in their sweetness and taste. When purchasing datil peppers, look for the more mature orange and yellow peppers for a sweeter sauce, although you can also use the green peppers. This version is a perfect gift for friends and family members who love a really, really, REALLY hot sauce.

By / Photography By Amy Robb | November 24, 2015

About this recipe

To learn more about the origins of this recipe, please Google “Bottling Hell: Remembering Mr. Murphree and the Spicy-Sweet Datil Pepper of St. Augustine” by Anna Hamilton for an awesome 3-minute audio clip explaining the origin of this fabulous spicy-sweet sauce.

Makes: A lot of datil pepper sauce! Total amount depends on how much of the optional ingredients you add whether you cut the sauce with more canned tomatoes and ketchup.


Fill blender with datil peppers. Cover peppers with white distilled vinegar and blend. Add the sliced onion and the garlic cloves to the datil mixture and blend until smooth. Pour datil-onion-garlic mixture into a large saucepan.

Add canned tomatoes to the blender and blend well. Add some local figs (the Hamilton family secret ingredient!) to this step for a little additional sweetness. Add tomato mixture and ketchup to pot and stir until well combined. Add red wine and Worcestershire sauce to taste, if desired. Cook sauce on medium-low, stirring occasionally, for at least 2 hours and for as long as desired.


Like all good recipes, this datil pepper sauce recipe is an approximation of a recipe that has been passed down over time—so feel free to amend it and experiment with it until it is to your liking.

To sweeten the sauce a bit more, add another blender full of canned tomatoes and figs and another bottle of ketchup.

Datil Pepper Sauce can be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container for several weeks, or canned according to home canning directions.



Wipe Out Waste

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  • 6 cups (Approximately) Datil peppers (mixture of yellow, orange, and/or green), stems and caps removed (but leave the seeds in!)
  • 1 (32-ounce) bottle white distilled vinegar
  • 1 quart canned tomatoes
  • 3 (28-ounce) bottles Hunt's 100% natural ketchup
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 head garlic, separated and peeled
  • Worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • Red wine (optional)
  • Figs (optional)
  • Blender
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