Citrus Grapefruit Habanero Hot Sauce

Learn how to make Citrus Grapefruit Habanero Hot Sauce. This hot sauce is an absolutely delicious combination of sweet, tart, and spicy. It is amazing on chicken wings. I also love adding it to sub-sandwiches, tacos, and pizza. Despite the notorious reputation of habaneros, this is NOT painfully spicy due to addition of both the sweet and tart fruit.

Citrus Grapefruit Habanero Hot Sauce

I am a Hot Sauce and Spice Addict…

I have a love affair with hot sauce. And pretty much all spicy things. Naturally, this means that I also love growing hot peppers, and I always grow at least: jalapenos, serranoes, and habaneros. In addition to those top three hot peppers, I also like to add tons of different varieties of other hot peppers to my garden and I swap them out with other hot pepper varieties every year. 

This year, in addition to my top three hot peppers, I’m also growing: Georgia Flame, Hot Portugal, Hungarian Hot Banana, Brazilian Starfish, Ancho Poblano, and even Ghost Peppers.

 The only thing about growing hot peppers that is a little bit annoying is that, the hotter the pepper, the longer the growing season needs to be for the harvest. 

So, last November, my homemade salsa tomatoes and peppers were all harvested and either eaten or preserved (here’s my list of tons of ways to preserve hot peppers and here’s my FAVORITE pickled jalapeno/serrano recipe). At about the time all of my milder peppers were done for the year, THEN my ghost pepper plant and habanero plant was loaded with hot peppers that were finally ready to harvest.

My Adventures Into Making Homemade Hot Sauce

Since my “normal” hot peppers and sweet peppers are mainly done when my habaneros and ghost peppers are just starting to go crazy, it makes it a bit challenging to figure out how to use them up (tip: don’t grow more than one habanero and/or ghost pepper plant…they grow about 6 feet tall and are LOADED with peppers).

Fortunately, I love hot sauce, and making homemade hot sauce is a great way to use a bunch of hot peppers in a way that still tastes good. I can handle really spicy hot sauces, but my hubby is a bit more “normal” in his spice-handling abilities, so I make sure that my homemade hot sauces are not unbearably hot. 

Here’s some of the other hot sauce recipes I have made so far:

It’s really fun coming up with complex combinations of flavors for homemade hot sauces. I try very carefully to blend the sweet and spicy in the perfect way.

In this particular recipe below, I added the delicious tart flavor of grapefruit. I have a reputation with my family and friends as being a little bit obsessed with grapefruit (I even mention it in my ‘about me‘ section of this website). Last winter, for example, I ate at least one grapefruit every single day for 3 months. Mmm…grapefruit is amazing.

Since I love the tart taste of grapefruit, I was really interested in adding that taste to a hot sauce. I then balanced the tart grapefruit taste with sweetness from some orange juice. Both of these flavors perfectly balanced the heat of the habaneros. 

Citrus Grapefruit Habanero Hot Sauce

Tips for Making Hot Sauce Safely at Home

Making homemade hot sauce is a special type of challenge because it’s possible to leave spicy imprints everywhere. I wore two layers of gloves and had to keep remembering what I touched so I could wipe it down.

I have a lot of experience with making things with hot peppers in my kitchen, so I’ve gotten really good at…”learning hot pepper lessons” that includes things like:

  1. If you touch the refrigerator door with glove that touched hot peppers, your fridge door handle is now covered in hot spicy pepper and it needs to be washed off;
  2. If you turn on your kitchen faucet to wash your gloved hands so you can take your gloves off, you now need to wash the faucet handle because it’s covered with hot spicy peppers; 
  3. If you touch kitchen utensils, pot handles, the kitchen counter, or ANYTHING while handling hot peppers, you need to take note of them so you can wash them off.

So yeah, if you start making hot sauce at home, PLEASE be extra careful by wearing gloves and cleaning every kitchen surface possible. Your eyes and skin will thank you for all the cautions you take.

Citrus Grapefruit Habanero Hot Sauce

Citrus Grapefruit Habanero Hot Sauce


  • 3 habaneros, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Juice from one grapefruit
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice


  1. In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, grapefruit juice, vinegar, and orange juice. 
  2. In a tall pot, add 1 tbsp. of the juice-liquid you just made in Step #1. Set the rest of the liquid aside. Saute the habaneros, garlic, and onion for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining liquid and salt. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Use an immersion blender  (like this) to blend the hot sauce until it is smooth.
  5. Use a wire mesh strainer to remove the pulpy stuff and add the hot sauce to glass jars.
  6. Label and date your glass jars and store them in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.


**Use a tall pot so that when you use the immersion blender, you don’t spray hot sauce in your face and on the walls (ask me how I know this can happen…).

**As mentioned throughout this post, WEAR GLOVES AND AVOID TOUCHING YOUR EYES. Hot sauce is delicious on food, but agony on your face and eyeballs.

Did You Try My Citrus Grapefruit Habanero Hot Sauce Recipe?

PLEASE let me know if you liked my habanero hot sauce recipe! I love getting feedback from folks who try my recipes!

And if you like spicy things, make sure you check out my other articles:

Citrus Grapefruit Habanero Hot Sauce

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