Hot Sauces That Change the Game

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By Molly Bradley

A little spice for the heat lovers in your life.

We all know someone who’s really, really, really into hot sauce.

Or maybe we are that person.

[photo of our fridge/hot sauce collection]

But whether you’re a hardcore hot sauce collector or a newbie just venturing into the world of edible heat, your adventures should never be boring. We have a collection of unusual — and unusually delicious — hot sauces that change the game.

  1. Barrel-Aged Sriracha — Sosu Sauces

    If you like a little bit of bite but still want to play it safe, you’ve probably found your way to sriracha already. Sosu Sauces makes their own sriracha using only four ingredients, then fermenting their sauce in whiskey barrels for a month. The result? A phenomenal, perfectly tangy, intense hot sauce that goes with pretty much everything.

    1. Habañero Sriracha — Kitchen Garden Farm

    If you’re a sriracha person who can handle a little more heat, Kitchen Garden Farm makes their sauce out of habañero peppers. This stuff is as bright and sharp in taste as in color, and it’ll definitely kick your meal up a couple notches.

    1. Fire Syrup — Little Bird Kitchen

    And now, for something completely different: here’s a jalapeño-infused simple syrup to really change things up. If you like spicy at all costs and on actually everything, try putting this in your tea, your oatmeal, drizzled on a gourmet pizza — even on your ice cream.

    Important to mention, too, that this syrup won 2nd place in the World Hot Sauce awards and has won 5 Scovie Awards — named for Wilbur Scoville, the scientist who invented the Scoville test to measure heat units in chile peppers. Yikes.

    1. Sriracha Ghee — Simply Ghee

    Sometimes the issue with hot sauce is that it stands out too much: the flavor of whatever you’re eating is muted beneath the sting of the sauce, however delicious it is.

    Not this Sriracha Ghee. It’s the perfect blend of smooth, buttery goodness and tangy, playful spice, and the butteriness melts perfectly into the flavor of your food. You have to try this.

    1. Oh Mercy! Hot Sauce — Oh Mercy!

    This sauce is handmade by Mercy Bloomgarden, a Ghanaian living in Virginia. Her sauce brings the flavors of West Africa to you in a jar, along with a hell of a kick. Enjoy this sauce stirred into soup, beans, a grain salad, or anything else ready to take on the taste: it’s complex, delicious, and lively.

    1. No Mercy! Hot Sauce — Oh Mercy!

    This is the same as Oh Mercy! Hot Sauce, but with at least twice the heat. Needless to say, it’s not for the faint of heart. But if you like heat, Mercy suggests serving some alongside a frittata or stirring a little into beans.

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