Ulster Whiskey Blog

Tabasco sauce and whiskey

In 1868, Edmund McIlhenny planted his first crop of peppers on Avery Island, Louisiana, A Scots Irish man whose family came from Antrim originally. and for almost a century and a half it has provided the ingredients for one of the most iconic products in the world. Tabasco sauce.

Now this might seem like a tenuous link for a whiskey website other than the fact the founder of the sauce originated from Ulster’s hills but there is a surprising link. Like so many other things related the people from Ulster’s shores there is alcohol involved in the process. Following company tradition, peppers are picked by hand. To ensure ripeness, pickers compare peppers to a little red stick (le petit bâton rouge); peppers that match the color of the stick are then introduced into the sauce production process. Peppers are ground into a mash on the day of harvest and placed along with salt in white oak barrels, aging barrels previously used for Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey.

The process

The barrels are then used in warehouses on Avery Island for aging the mash. After aging for up to three years, the mash is strained to remove skins and seeds. The resulting liquid is then mixed with vinegar, stirred occasionally for a month, and then bottled as finished sauce.

I have heard many people say to drink a “Prairie oyster” to cure a hangover.

Ingredients for Prairie Oyster:

  • 1 raw egg
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 dashes of Tabasco sauce

Crack the egg into a glass, leaving the yolk unbroken. Douse it with Worcestershire sauce, a sprinkling of salt and pepper, and Tabasco sauce

So now you know that the cause and cure for your hangover both have their roots in the genius of Ulstermen.

There is 1 comment
  1. Tabasco itself is made on Avery Island, Louisiana, and has been for 150 years. The peppers (called Tabascos, fittingly enough) are grown both on Avery Island and in pepper-friendly climes around the world; they get mashed down with salt, and then left to age in used whiskey barrels for three years.

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