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!"


1 oz. Waterloo gin

1 oz. Chareau aloe liqueur

10 mint leaves


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.

Page:   1   |   2   |   3   |   4   |   5   |   6   |   7   |   8   |   9   |   10   |   11   |   12   |   13   |   14   |   15   |   16   |   17   |   18   |   19   |   All

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

MORE Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival
Hot Sauce Festival Winners 2020
Hot Sauce Festival Winners 2020
The judges have spoken (and scorched their palates)

James Renovitch, Aug. 30, 2020

2020 Hot Sauce Festival Judges
2020 Hot Sauce Festival Judges
Meet the tastemakers for this year's competition

Jessi Cape, Aug. 28, 2020

More by Brandon Watson
My Obsession: Therapy With Nineties Supermodels
My Obsession: Therapy With Nineties Supermodels
Escape via the long gay tradition of diva worship

Sept. 15, 2017

Review: Holy Roller
Review: Holy Roller
The personal is edible at Callie Speer’s new hot spot

Sept. 8, 2017


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

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle