This recipe was part of an experiment to answer the question: “Can a good hot sauce be made from powdered ingredients?”. The answer is: “Yes! A great hot sauce can be made from powdered ingredients”.
I love making my own hot sauces but I do not always have the time to prepare a pepper mash (chopped and fermented fresh peppers) which can take months and then age the final product in the fridge before it can be enjoyed. So I set out to see if using fresh ground peppers and other dry ingredients can be an alternative to get to a good quality final product faster. I’m happy to say that it can!
The name comes from the ingredients; 6 peppers, 4 vinegars, H=Habanero, A=Apricot, C=Chipotle, A=Anejo.
Even though a small amount of habanero was used, that flavor really comes to the front along with the apricot, rum and a nice smokiness from the chipotle pepper. The flavor of this sauce is quite complex with a slight spicy sweetness and a good amount of heat.
Combine all dry ingredients except the bay leaves and cloves into a sauce pan then add the honey, apricot preserves, tomato paste and the Anejo rum (you can substitute the Bacardi Anejo for any darker aged rum if you need to). Mix together thoroughly then add all the vinegars reserving ½ Cup of the white vinegar. Whisk together to completely incorporate. Add the cloves and bay leaves then bring up to a slow boil, stirring occasionally.
When you reach a boil, turn heat down to low, cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Then turn off heat and let sit to cool for 1 hour.
After an hour, remove the bay leaves and cloves then process the sauce in a blender until it is completely smooth. Rinse the sauce pan out to remove any remaining sauce as you will re-use it. Strain sauce back into the saucepan using a fine strainer. Sauce will be fairly thick due to the powdered ingredients and apricot pulp so use a large spoon to work the sauce through the strainer. Discard whatever pulp may be left in the strainer.
Add the reserved ½ Cup of white vinegar to the sauce to thin it and stir. Cover and just let sit for 1 hour to cool sufficiently to bottle.
After the hour is up the sauce should be cool enough to bottle. The sauce will be slightly thick and rich brown. Use container(s) of your choice to bottle. Put in the refrigerator for 2 – 4 weeks to age before use to allow sauce to develop. The longer it ages the better the sauce will be.
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