The United Kingdom is a melting pot of cultures, cuisines and condiments. In the last two years the UK’s hot sauce scene exploded. Sauce makers are experimenting with radical new flavours almost every week, from coffee to carrots and everything in between, the UK is experiencing a hot sauce heat wave.
In the lead up to releasing our hot sauce subscription box we made it our business to taste every sauce we could get our hands on. Below are some of our favourites, sprinkled in with snippets from our good friend Condimaniac’s famous hot sauce reviews.
The list is designed to celebrate the boom in the hot sauce market, as well as shedding light on the hustlers turning up the heat on the UK’s hot sauce scene.
Keep scrolling to see one hundred essential hot sauces you need to try in 2020.
Foreward by Condimaniac
Brace your hearts and your stomachs people. Hot sauce fever has reached the UK and it's only going to get more spicy.
I fell in love with this little condiment shortly after starting my journey into reviewing sauces from around the world and haven't looked back since. Much like craft beer did five or so years ago, hot sauce has captured the imagination of producers all over the UK because of it's variety, creativity and health benefits. To celebrate this wonderful community my friends Bauce Brothers have put together a list of the UK's 'HOT 100'.
The 100 essential hot sauces crafted right here on our own little island. So explore the list, be sure to delve deeper into every story (they all have one) and before long who knows... you may have a collection to rival even the most battle hardened chilli head!
Only one sauce per brand is featured on the list below.
Prices may vary depending on retailer.
This list is not ranked in any order.
They are all delicious.
“The first thing I notice is the cumin, which I love in hot sauce. It gives it this nice savoury flavour that's well balanced by the salt. After that you get a pleasant tang from the mixture of tomatoes and vinegar used just as the heat hits. They use habaneros which I like as they give an immediate front mouth spice that seems to move as it grows. This is a new favourite of mine, I often talk about balance of flavours and these lot have nailed it.”
Hot Stuff by
“The fresh flavour lends itself well to anything that's already rich but needs a bit of heat. Pizza would be a good place to start or maybe try it with oysters for that bit of extra zingggg.”
Smokey Dragon by Condimaniac
“So I messed this up twice before getting the recipe right. This batch, the third attempt was just right. Komodo Dragon Chillis have the blessing of being both hot and full of flavour, the first thing you get is usually the paprika and vinegar at the same time. The vinegar is mild and fruity (Aspall cider vinegar) and the paprika sweet. This is followed by a nice kick that arrives then builds slowly along with the flavour of the peppers, that kind of earthy bell pepper flavour only present with great chillis. I'm proud of this and hope you enjoy it too.”
Batch One by Peckham Sauce Co.
“I love that I'm starting with this little sauce. The bottle is unconventional and showcases the beautiful deep colour of the chilli, whilst the label contrasts brilliantly. It's all lines and very modern in stark contrast to the vibrant barrage of colour that hot sauces usually adorn themselves with. It's sleek and I'm in.”
Hot Sauce by Pepper Kitchen
“Now the flavour. This was a real surprise to me, it starts with a nice natural sweetness that's created by the brown sugar and then moves into a lovely mustard flavour. That's closely followed by a pleasant heat and flavour from the scotch bonnets, not mild but definitely not offensively hot, the difference here though is that relationship between the scotch bonnet and the mustard. It's a match made in heaven, the floral flavour of the chillis really compliments the sharp sweet mustard flavour. It really is something.”
Burn Baby Burn by Disco Hot Sauce
“On tasting the first thing that registers is that distinct scotch bonnet flavour. It's the first ingredient so whilst they may have chosen a small label there's been no holding back on the sauce itself. Lots of lovely chilli. After that you get the flavour of smooth vinegar and the almost sweet fragrance of the turmeric. It ends with the mustard creeping up, like a musical crescendo. I love disco music and this is full of the same excitement”
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Hot Sauce by Barnfathers
“On their insta account it describes this as 'the gateway sauce to all things spicy' and I'd be inclined to agree. This is tasty. Fresh and fruity with a really pleasant mild spice. The pineapple flavour is really satisfying and the red peppers add that cooking sauce dimension that I was picking up with my nose. It's been well seasoned too and isn't overly vinegary. Bloody good job!”
The Green One by Vicky’s Kitchen
““I love this. It has a lovely fresh flavour that bleeds into a delicate mix of spices and a citrus-like after taste. The heat is immediate but not uncomfortable and serves to excite all of the other flavours. Finally you're left with an almost sweet after taste to round it off, a lot of effort has gone into making this exciting and for me it's worked.”
Bunkum Bay Hot Sauce by Glenroy’s
“Tasting this is like a little journey. It starts with fresh tomatoes and then a caramel like sweetness makes itself known. You then experience the flavour and heat of the scotch bonnet chillis, closely followed by a hit of garlic, hot but not too hot. This is all rounded off with the interesting addition of cloves, cinnamon and star anise which give the aftertaste a beautiful yet delicate sweet liquorish touch. This sauce has a lot of subtle complexity to the flavour and definitely seems to be the product of dedicated trial and error. Really impressed."
Mango Madness by Viv’s Kitchens
““First you register the lovely sweet, fruity body of the mangos followed by a sharp citrus bite from the lime. This develops into a really satisfying savoury umami that gives away to a delicate and fragrant heat. This tastes like years of experience distilled into a bottle, I can imagine Viv in her kitchen now, infusing each serving with a little magic.”