Chile Lemon Simple Syrup

Time5 minutes, plus cooling
YieldsMakes about ⅔ cup
chile lemon simple syrup
(Genevieve Ko / Los Angeles Times)

Scrub the lemons well under warm water. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest in strips directly over a small saucepan, letting them drop into the pan. Try to not peel off the white pith beneath the yellow layer. Squeeze ½ cup juice from the lemons and add to the zest, along with the sugar.


Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and add the chile. Let cool to room temperature.

If you’d like, strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a jar. Otherwise, simply pour the solids and liquid into a jar. Use right away or refrigerate until cold.
Make Ahead:
The syrup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.