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This hot sauce is modeled after my favorite classic, vinegar-forward hot sauces — think Tabasco and Crystal, but a little thicker with a lot more nuanced, layered chilli goodness. The base of this hot sauce is coconut vinegar, which has a fruity, gently acidity. If you can't find coconut vinegar, you can also use apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, or plain ol' white distilled vinegar. Each of those vinegars vary slightly in acidity and taste, so just play around with the amount of sugar until you reach your desired balance of tang and heat (the sugar is there to round out the flavor and tame the heat, so don't omit it!).
The best part about this hot sauce is how customizable it is. When I first developed this recipe, we had one whole chilli, Guntur Sannam, on our roster, and now there is a bounty to choose from! Mix and match to achieve different levels of fruitiness, fire, and flavor. I love a base of Resham Patti for their ketchup-y mildness bolstered with a handful of Sirārakhong Hāthei and one Sivathei for smokiness and a building heat that'll sneak up on ya. Or, you can go with a mix of Kashmiri and Guntur Sannam for a brilliantly fruity, medium-spiced hot sauce. Whatever chillies I choose, I always keep the other flavorings simple: sugar for balance, as mentioned above, salt to lift all those flavors, a little garlic, and Pragati Turmeric for vibrant color and a little citrusy earthiness.
Make sure to allow your hot sauce to sit in the fridge for a week before using it. This will allow all the flavors to marry, meld, and soften. The sauce will continue to get better with time and will stay good in the fridge for up to 6 months (though I've never had a bottle last that long). Use your finished hot sauce to perk up deeply roasted cauliflower wedges, drizzle over popcorn (bonus points if you add some Jacobsen Salt Co. x Diaspora Co. Turmeric Popcorn Seasoning), or whisk with a little melted butter for the ultimate wing sauce.