Artisanal Hot Sauce Gift Guide
Pirate’s Lantern Pepper Sauce
Pirate’s Lantern is made by two brothers in Brooklyn and based on a recipe from their Barbadian great grandmother. In the typical Barbados style, it’s loaded with scotch bonnet peppers and mustard, which gives it a nice, medium heat and a brilliant yellow color. It also has a touch of sweetness that comes from another classic Carribean ingredient: rum. While it’s a natural match for Carribean cuisine, it’s also great with any mustard-friendly food (think sausage or a rich pork dish). $10 for 5 oz.
Lillie’s Q Hot Sauce
Chicago barbecue restaurant Lillie’s Q makes its hot sauce with the pickled cayenne peppers leftover from the restaurant's Hot Pepper Vinegar Sauce. After five days of marinating in the vinegar, the peppers are removed and blended with pimientos, dried scotch bonnets and cane sugar, making a sauce that’s perfect for cutting through even the richest dishes. Try it with Southern classics like fried chicken or shrimp and grits. $9 for 8 oz.
Filfil™ No.7 Garlic Hot Sauce
Garlic is the star of this sauce from Filfil, a Brooklyn-based company that focuses on nutrition and touts the health benefits of garlic, such as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Made with just vinegar, paprika and a healthy dose of non-GMO garlic (over 20 cloves per bottle), this one’s a must for any garlic lover on your gift list. We especially like it on avocado toast and eggs. $12 for 8.5 oz.
Scrumptious Pantry Heirloom Hot Sauce Beaver Dam Pepper
Scrumptious Pantry, a Chicago-based craft food company, believes that using heirloom varieties for fruits and vegetables is the key to great flavor. This hot sauce showcases the Beaver Dam Pepper, a Hungarian heirloom variety brought to the U.S. in 1912. The peppers are roasted and then wild-fermented for up to three weeks, making for a flavorful and complex sauce that works with a variety of foods, ranging from mac and cheese to pork dishes or even a hearty salad. $5.99 for 5 fl oz.
Bee Local Hot Honey
If you like your heat of the “sweet” variety, look no further. Portland, Oregon–based Bee Local has infused their raw, unfiltered, single-origin honey with scorpion chiles and vinegar for a condiment that’s hot and sweet without being cloying. Unlike many traditional hot sauces, Hot Honey works equally well with sweet and savory; it’s just as at home on a cheese plate as it is drizzled over fried chicken or even vanilla ice cream. $12.00 for 11 oz.
Jacob Cutino, from Phoenix, Arizona, based Homeboy’s Habanero on his Trinidadian step-father’s secret recipe. In addition to habaneros, the sauce also has sweet onion, carrot, mustard and lemon juice for a gourmet flavor profile that’s perfect for anything that could use a hit of citrus (think roasted vegetables, fish tacos or a spicy aioli). $10 for 4 oz.
Todd’s Inner Beauty Hot Sauce
Todd’s Inner Beauty is a revival of a 90’s cult classic, whose lengthy ingredient list includes scotch bonnets, mustard, white wine, molasses, papayas and mangoes. The result is a Carribean-style sauce that’s full of tropical fruit flavors. It makes an awesome addition to burgers and grilled foods. $8.99 for 7.2 oz.
Ultimate Flavor Pack from Heatonist
If you’re still having trouble choosing, let the Heatonist “hot sauce sommeliers” the do the work for you. This new gift pack, specially curated by owner Noah Chaimberg, features three amazing hot sauces: Chicaoji (raw cacao, goji berries, and apple cider vinegar), Bravado Ghost Pepper & Blueberry (spicy and sweet but not overly so) and Homeboy’s Habanero. $30.00.