Spice Up Your Coffee With A Dash Of Hot Sauce

Unless you are a coffee purist, you probably enjoy adding pops of flavor to your coffee in order to spice things up. These flavorful add-ins can be anything from plain sugar and dairy or non-dairy milk like almond and coconut, to flavored syrups, cocoa, spices or spice blends, and dark liquors like rum, brandy, and whiskey. But even with all the options available, there are still coffee lovers who want to add something completely different to their coffee — and for that they're turning to hot sauce.

The idea of using spice as a coffee flavor was first raised by Morgan Osborne of the food conglomerate Archer Daniels. As she proposed this out-of-the-box food pairing, she told Well + Good that the idea that coffee and hot sauce go together shouldn't be surprising, because "the combining decadence and heat in places has been a consistent trend in the food industry." Osborne isn't wrong: we know that hot sauce already makes a regular appearance in icy, tomato-based cocktails like Bloody Marys and red pepper martinis. The trend of adding chili to chocolate has even made a comeback and it's now being used to make hot cocoa. Historically, chili was added to hot cocoa by the Mayans, who drank the flavorful brew without milk or sugar.

Not all hot sauces can be added to coffee

But in order to add coffee to hot sauce, Osborne, who is director of culinary development, says there are a few rules you need to follow. The most important is not to use whatever hot sauce you have hanging out in your pantry, because the vinegar found in hot sauces could end up clashing with the spice that you want to bring to your coffee. Instead of using the vinegar-based Tabasco, she recommends using just a few drops of Sriracha which has not been made with vinegar. She also calls for lighter coffee roasts to be used, since the darker roasts have bitter notes which could clash with the hot sauce, per Well + Good.

If you're on board with the idea of pouring hot sauce in your coffee, know that there is one specific type of hot sauce that's been formulated to actually go with your java. Lauren D'Souza, who is said to have needed 70 tries to come up with Ujjo, said hot sauce needed tweaking before it could be properly added to a drink. Not only has Ujjo done away with vinegar, it's also made without garlic which can be found in standard hot sauces. In its place, you'll find spices like cinnamon, vanilla, citrus, and ginger, all of which can — and do — complement the flavors of your coffee quite nicely.