Homemade Hot Sauce: Recipe

Hot sauce of any variety, from sweet and tangy Eastern types to the slather on chicken wings American style sauces is good to have around since it’s so versatile. While there are plenty of good options available in the condiment aisle, it’s both easy and satisfying to make your own at home. A basic hot sauce requires a handful of ingredients, beyond that is a litany of options to tweak and alter it to your liking.

Don’t let their flamboyant colour fool you. Scotch bonnet’s are incredibly hot, like little yellow grenades.

Scotch Bonnet Hot Sauce

*I’ll highlight the basic ingredients in bold, the rest should be considered optional extras.

Makes a quite hot and slightly sweet sauce with a nice piquancy. Substitute in less intense chilli’s for less spice. Should be used moderately. Feel free to experiment with the ingredients and quantities.

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 1/4 bell pepper
  • 1 & 1/2 scotch bonnet chilli’s (de seeded) 
  • 1 cup white vinegar (200ml)
  • oil
  • 4 tomatoes (chopped) OR 1 tin of tomatoes approx
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 cubes white sugar & 1 teaspoon demerara
  • water if necessary
  • honey
  • 1 spring onion chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • shot of bourbon
  1. Heat a generous amount of oil in a saucepan, add finely chopped onion, bell pepper, spring onion, garlic and scotch bonnet. Gently brown, stirring continously. This goes for every stage, make sure it doesn’t burn. [5-10 minutes]
  2. Add the vinegar, lime juice, tomatoes, salt, sugar and bourbon. Simmer until the tomatoes have broken down and the sauce has been reduced. Move to the next stage earlier for a thinner sauce. [5-20 minutes]
  3. Allow the sauce a few minutes to cool before blending. Blend to be as smooth as possible.
  4. Sieve the sauce into a bowl (a large mixing bowl is ideal). You  Let the sauce cool entirely, to speed things up submerse the bowl in cold water.
  5. Store the sauce in jam jars or empty sauce bottles and store in the fridge.

My sauce took on a sultry, deep red colouring.

  • It’s a good idea to use rubber gloves when handling chilli’s, especially those on the higher end of the Scoville scale. If you don’t have gloves, use a fork to hold it in place while you chop it.
  • Don’t sniff the pot, the fumes can be very pungent.
  • Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling chilli’s. Water alone does very little, something oily or which contains alcohol will work. The best bet is washing up liquid.

The finished product. Those nondescript jars hide the frightening spice within.


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