When you think of hot sauce brands, a few iconic names might spring to mind. There’s the ubiquitous Sriracha, Frank’s Red Hot, Cholula, Tapatio, and last but certainly not least is Tabasco. America’s beloved hot sauce brand turns 150 this year and the Louisiana company is celebrating in a pretty glamorous way. The limited edition McIlhenny Co. Tabasco Diamond Reserve Sauce is made from carefully-chosen tabasco peppers on Avery Island, where the brand calls home.
For the special pepper sauce, the lucky peppers are, per Tabasco’s description, “chosen for their superior color, texture, and robustness.” The peppers are mashed with salt and aged. Tabasco notes that some peppers will age for up to 15 years. Once aged appropriately, the peppers were blended with a sparkling white wine vinegar. Hence, the champagne-style bottle that the new Tabasco sauce is sold in. Why go through all the trouble? Well, it’s their 150th anniversary!
What makes Tabasco different from its competitors is the fact that it’s made exclusively with tabasco peppers, vinegar, and salt. The McIlhenny family remained true to the recipe that began when Edmund McIlhenny moved to Louisiana in 1840. His eldest son, John Avery McIlhenny, became the company’s owner when Edmund passed away.
McIlhenny Company is one of the few American companies to receive a royal warrant of appointment from Queen Elizabeth II, guaranteeing them as an official royal supplier of the Tabasco brand. The unique taste of red peppers makes it an easy choice for your Bloody Mary habit, and it’s true that Tabasco brand pepper sauce pairs well with tomato-based cocktails like Micheladas.
You can order the special edition hot sauce on Tabasco’s website where you’ll find it for $34.95. The 6-fluid ounce champagne bottle is a neat packaging, but will the high price tag entice even the most obsessed hot sauce fans?