I’m sort of addicted to the hottest sauce at Pepino’s (http://pepinos.org/), which is down the street from my office. A burrito w/ tortilla chips is only $3.25, so I end up there a lot. Their hot sauce is thick, smoky, and robust. Almost like a chipotle salsa, but more confrontational. Sometimes I go there just to eat that hot sauce. (http://pepinos.org/)
The house-made sauces at Santeria (http://thesanteria.com/) are consistently great. Santeria is my favorite Mexican restaurant in Portland.
sriracha is my everyday sauce. but was given a bottle of d.l. jardine’s blazin’ saddle as a present. was surprised by its flavor. not too hot you can’t taste what it is you put it on. i usually hate that. but good. a good hot. with a pleasant taste. well worth the price. well worth a try.
i lived in cruces for a bit. grew a jolokia but moved before i could taste the pepper. can only imagine it was super hot. i left the plant with a friend. not sure what happened to it. living in cruces was great for my hot sauce/hot pepper addiction.
but it all depends on context: i second sriracha as a great everyday sauce (as in, ‘this popcorn is good but it would be better with a little blot of sriracha’ cholula is also acceptable & of course valentina es el boss man de la comida mejicana
fuck sriracha. dave’s insanity ghost pepper special sauce is, like, the monster cock of hot sauces, i think. there’s a tater-tots place in sf that makes u sign a waiver if u order it, just in case u die. i love it.
Crystal is the real shit, spicy and vinegary with a hint of sweetness. Being a New Orleans boy, I’ve tried every one I have found and never found Crystal improved on. (I do keep a bottle of Siracha in the house, though, mostly as a substitute forLa Preferida Salsa Brava on Mexican food, but those are chili and horseradish sauces, and don’t fit my chauvinistic Louisiana definition of “hot sauce”.)
I’m still looking for 3.3 ounce bottles I can carry when I travel.
Put 15-20 habanero peppers, 3-4 medium tomatoes, and 5-6 cloves of garlic under the broiler until blistered and slightly charred. Remove stems and seeds from the peppers (try not to touch the peppers with your hands), quarter the tomatoes and garlic, and throw it all in the blender. Add juice of 1 lime (or more or less to taste) and blend until smooth. Hot enough to burn your fucking face off, but also has depth and complexity of flavor, different facets of which are accentuated when used with different foods. Essential. I keep a quart or so of this stuff on hand at all times.
I’ve always removed the stems and seeds after broiling, but you could probably do it before too. I cook everything on the same cookie sheet. The tomatoes and peppers will cook in about 5-6 minutes, turning once. The garlic will cook a little faster. If your oven is an unevenly-heating piece of shit like mine, you can try keeping the garlic on the cooler side so it doesn’t burn. Otherwise you can put the garlic in a couple minutes after the other stuff. Good luck!