Hot Takes

What to drink with the fieriest salsas at the AC Hot Sauce Festival


Mandi Nelson (Photo by John Anderson)

I'll admit it. I've always been a bit jealous of sommeliers, brewmasters, mixologists, and other beverage professionals. They get to taste the world's most exquisite wine, beer, and spirits on a day-to-day basis, while I try my best to avoid the break room Coke machine. So maybe it was with a little bit of sadism when I asked the men and women who determine what Austin drinks to come up with pairings for some of the hottest sauces from our local Hot Sauce Festival vendors. I shouldn't have ever doubted that they would rise to the challenge with a variety of sippers – some light, some heady – but all using the creativity that has come to define our local scene. My sick burn ain't got nothing on their shade.


Jennifer Keyser – Chief of Bar Operations, Geraldine's

Hot Sauce: Yellowbird Serrano

Pairing: Fly High with gin and aloe liqueur

"This drink pairs great with the Yellowbird Serrano hot sauce as the cooling effect of the aloe liqueur calms the punch from the bright serrano. The combination of cucumber in the sauce and cucumber in the drink goes nicely, as does the freshness of the mint. Easy drinking, cooling and summery, this drink is great on the porch with a taco in hand!"

Recipe:

1 oz. Waterloo gin

1 oz. Chareau aloe liqueur

10 mint leaves

Cucumber

Topo Chico

Muddle two slices of cucumber with 10 leaves of mint in a shaker tin. Add 1 oz. of Waterloo gin and 1 oz. of Chareau aloe liqueur and shake with ice until cold. Strain into Collins glass filled with ice and top with Topo Chico mineral water. Garnish with a slice of cucumber and mint sprig.


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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Les Locke, Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery, Paul Ozbirn, parkside, Clay Inscoe, Treaty Oak Distilling Co., Mandi Nelson, New Waterloo, La Condesa, Andrew Grenz, qui, Chris McClish, Juniper, David Toby, Jack Allen's Kitchen, Jessica Sanders, Backbeat, Jennifer Keyser, Geraldine's, Jeramy Campbell

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