Recipe: Lemon Drop Fermented Hot Sauce


We’re working on our hot sauce rainbow. We’ve got a gorgeously green Jalapeño Hot Sauce and a viciously hot and orange Pineapple Habanero Hot Sauce, and now, we’re checking “yellow” off the list.

We turned to lemon drop peppers (ají limon) not only because of their beautiful, vibrant yellow, but also for their super unique flavors. They pop with bright, lemony citrus aromas and a zippy heat. And while they do pack a good hot punch, they don’t come close to the face-melting heat of a habanero.

We added lemon peel to the fermenting jar to really punch up the natural robust, nuanced citrus flavors of the peppers (just discard the peels before blending). A single yellow carrot added to the mix helps mellow out the heat a bit and lends even more vibrant yellow color to the final product.

At the end of fermentation, ditch the lemon peel and blend with white vinegar for a zippy, tangy hot sauce. All those citrus flavors make this sauce incredibly versatile: add it to fish tacos, rice & noodle bowls or anything that needs a little hit of heat.



  • 6 cups (40-50 peppers) lemon drop peppers, tops removed and cut into 2-3 pieces

  • 1 yellow carrot, chopped

  • 1 lemon, peels only

  • 2 tablespoons salt

  • 1 quart water

  • 2 cups white vinegar, reserved


Tip: lemon drop peppers are hot, we strongly recommend wearing gloves while preparing this recipe.  

  1. Pack peppers, chopped carrot and lemon peels into fermentation jar. 

  2. Combine salt and water, stir until salt is fully dissolved to make the brine. 

  3. Add fermentation weight and pour in brine to cover, vegetables should be fully submerged. Questions about fermentation weights? Check out our Fermentation Weight Guide.   

  4. Top with lid and airlock (Need help? Check out our How to Assemble Airlock Video).  Let ferment for 2-3 weeks at room temperature out of direct sunlight.

  5. Discard lemon peels. Add peppers and chopped carrot to blender with 1/2 cup of the fermentation liquid. Blend until smooth and then add white vinegar. If hot sauce is too spicy, add more vinegar to taste. Hot sauce will keep refrigerated for at least 2 months.

Fermenting Picks:

Fermented Hot Sauce Kit
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Lacto Pickle Kit
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Kraut Kit
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Fermented Vegetable Kit
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