A spicy hot sauce made from tabasco peppers, vinegar and salt. Tabasco is used to add zest to Creole dishes and eggs. Tabasco is also used in some mixed drinks.
It was developed in America by Thomas McIlhenny and is trademarked by the McIlhenny family.
Following company tradition, peppers are picked by hand. To ensure ripeness, pickers compare peppers to a little red stick (le petit bâton rouge); peppers that match the color of the stick are then introduced into the sauce production process. Peppers are ground into a mash on the day of harvest and placed along with salt in white oak barrels (aging barrels previously used for Jack Daniel's Tennessee whiskey). To prepare the barrel, the inside of the barrel is de-charred (top layer of wood is removed), torched, and cleaned, to minimize the presence of any residual whiskey. The barrels are then used in warehouses on Avery Island for aging the mash. After aging for up to three years, the mash is strained to remove skins and seeds. The resulting liquid is then mixed with vinegar, stirred occasionally for a month, and then bottled as finished sauce.