Aug 212018

Hot Sauce Adventures!

Hot Sauce Adventures!

Let’s take a moment to appreciate a good hot sauce. Hot sauce is a great condiment to compliment many flavors. Also, there are so many types of hot sauce! Burn your mouth out, garlicky, vinegary, smokey, sweet, etc. You get the point.

I have never made hot sauce at home… ever… like it never occurred to me to make it. So when my husband’s Bespoke subscription box came with a hot sauce making kit, I knew we had to document the experience and make it fun.

Oh you can see the sassy spice in there!



How can burning out your mouth with hot sauce be fun, you ask? We invite friends over and make it into a HOT SAUCE TASTING! With a side of tacos because you can’t make tons of hot sauce and NOT have tacos. Only heathens do that. We are not heathens.






We’ve got a few different types of hot sauce candidates in here:

  • Forager’s Blend – this is a more smoky flavor without the hit of heat. It’s a slow build up. Made by me and my hubby.
  • Grove Blend – Heat with a bright flavor. Definitely has some pep in its step and slaps you across the face rather than a slow build up. Also made by me and the hubby.
  • Harissa (not shown)- Mildly spicy, Garlicky, nice bold flavors without burning off your taste buds. Made by my friend, Mr. Pink (which is an alias, but anyone who is my friend will know who this is)



Now let’s give an honorable mention to the tacos. These are the framework to showcase these delicious sauces. I actually kept them pretty simple so that the seasoning from the tacos didn’t overwhelm the hot sauces. We’re looking for a compliment, not competing taste.

I’m leaving the meat lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. There’s going to be lots going on anyway! So keep it simple.

Doesn’t this look like the kitchen of a mad scientist??

Also, I must warn you… Making hot sauce is an adventure. Toasting the peppers caused our senses to be invaded! Runny noses, coughing, stinging and watery eyes… AND I almost rubbed my watery eyes with my pepper covered hands… not to mention that my sinuses are clear as a whistle! But it’s part of the fun and totally worth it! Trust me!


Hot Sauce

Yields: 2 (or 2 ½ depending on mix) 4 oz bottles of each

Time: 15 minutes


Foragers Blend

  • 1 3.5 oz jar Foragers Blend (guajillo, chipotle, and pequin peppers)  by The Chili Lab
  • 1 3/4 cups of distilled white vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of kosher salt

Grove Blend

  • 1 4 oz jar Grove Blend (piri piri, anaheim, and habanero peppers) by The Chili Lab
  • 1 3/4 cups of distilled white vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of kosher salt

Harissa (Made by Mr. Pink from a recipe that was created by his friend

  • 1 oz dried hot red chiles, destemmed
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 Tbs garlic minced
  • 1/2 rd tsp cumin
  • 1/4 rd Tbs kosher salt
  • 1/4 rd Tbs coriander
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


Chili Labs Hot Sauce:

I would recommend making one jar of hot sauce at a time. These are the directions according to the kit we used, but I’m sure you can make your own with different chilis and make using the same amounts.

Heat a pan and toast one jar of dried chilis over low heat for a minute. Add vinegar and salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove and cool to room temperature.

Once cooled add mixture to a blender and blend until smooth for about 4-5 minutes.

Pour into one of the glass jars using a fine mesh strainer on top of the funnel. You may need to gently press the mixture through the strainer.

Repeat process for the second jar… if you DARE!

Store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. Enjoy on your favorite foods! 

Harissa Paste by Mr. Pink: 

Pour boiling water over the chile peppers. Let steep for 2 hours.

Drain peppers and put in a food processor with all the other ingredients, EXCEPT the olive oil. As
the processor runs, slowly add the oil. The result should be a paste.

Store in an air-tight container for up to 3 months.