TASTE

Taste Test: The Best Hot Sauce For Bloody Marys

02/21/2014 09:13 am ET | Updated Apr 29, 2014
Damon Dahlen/The Huffington Post

A properly made Bloody Mary can fix a lot of things -- a bad night before, a very good night before, brunch hanger and a hankering for hot sauce. We all have a favorite hot sauce for our Bloody Mary, but we needed to test our loyalty. We set out on a blind taste test expedition, to determine once and for all the best Bloody Mary hot sauce of all.

We started with a standard homemade Bloody Mary mix: tomato juice, horseradish, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, lime juice and vodka. We used Smirnoff, not because it's our favorite vodka (we don't have a favorite vodka, that is like having a favorite wood polish), but because it miraculously won our vodka taste test many moons ago.

fixings

With a big pitcher of Bloody Marys mixed up, we poured them into individual cups laced with 10 different hot sauces. We wanted to use the hot sauces you are most likely to find in your local grocery store, as you set out to make your very own Bloody Mary bar. No, there is no ghost pepper sauce. There is no Ass-Incinerating-Hellfire-Mash or whatever your cousin Dave makes in his garage. These are the hot sauces you're most likely to encounter in the wilds of the American convenience store.

We absolutely cannot express how surprised we were by our winner. To be 100 percent honest with you, we only included the winning hot sauce in the taste test because we knew people would complain if it wasn't there. That it emerged victorious has absolutely blown our minds.

  • 10 NOT RECOMMENDED: Frank's Red Hot
    Damon Dahlen/The Huffington Post
    "Oh, hello Buffalo wings." "Plain, flavorless, zero spice." "Not spicy in the mouth, but kinda prickly in the throat." "Tastes like old gym socks." "Tastes herbal and pretty mild." "Bitter sharpness."
  • 9 NOT RECOMMENDED: Red Devil
    Damon Dahlen/The Huffington Post
    "Uneventful." "Sour. Bitter. STOP." ""Subtly burnt flavor." "This one leaves me feeling nothing." "That's pretty spicy! My lips are tingling." "Meh."
  • 8 NOT RECOMMENDED: Tapatio
    Damon Dahlen/The Huffington Post
    "It's hot, but it tastes bitter." "Kind of acidic in an unappealing way. But it does have some spice." "Great!" "Whoa, really spicy and strong. Don't love it." "MY EYES. MY EYES!!"
  • 7 Tabasco
    Damon Dahlen/The Huffington Post
    "Tastes burned." "Taste like pennies." "HOT." "This hot sauce ain't doing Bloody Marys no favors." "Warm and savory. Comforting in its mild kick." "Classic, acidic."
  • 6 Texas Pete
    Damon Dahlen/The Huffington Post
    "Almost unnoticeable, but for a little bite." ""Not a lot going on with this." "This one has an odd canned tomato taste. Or even tomato paste?" "It feels like something exploded in my mouth -- and it's terrible." "Black peppery kick at the end."
  • 5 Crystal
    Damon Dahlen/The Huffington Post
    "BAD AFTERTASTE." "That is a damn nice balance." "Low key, not very flavorful or spicy." "Harsh." "Kinda weak, but very delicious."
  • 4 Cholula
    Damon Dahlen/The Huffington Post
    "Smells like cumin." "Mild and sweet." "Pretty gentle. A certain brininess." "Not terribly exciting, but solid." "Really great flavor."
  • 3 RECOMMENDED: Tabasco Green
    Damon Dahlen/The Huffington Post
    "Lots of jalapeño and lime." "Not much kick, but refreshing, sort of sweet spice." "Wish it were spicier." "Mellow, balanced. This is one I want to drink all the time." "Tastes like jalapeño, kind of smoky." "Good roasted pepper flavor."
  • 2 RECOMMENDED: Louisiana
    Damon Dahlen/The Huffington Post
    "Flavorful with the necessary amount of kick." "Delicious! Very spicy. Reminds me of Thai chile pepper." "It tastes like fire. I like it." "Hey, it's a bloody!" "Yes! Just spicy enough!"
  • 1 WINNER: Sriracha
    Damon Dahlen/The Huffington Post
    "ALL THE GARLIC." "That's what you need for Bloody Marys." "Strong pepper flavor. Not punishing." "Great kick that gets you right in the back of your throat." "Perfect amount of spice. Peppery, smoky." "Very bell peppery. Love the zing."

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