It’s Sriracha week! Why? Who knows! Just go with it. The “Rooster Sauce” that you can put on pizza, eggs, sandwiches, waffles, ice cream, and meatloaf is, as you can imagine, the perfect complement to your favorite buzzy drinks.
There’s actual science behind Sriracha’s addictiveness.
The cravable kick comes from the peppers, which contain two molecules that trigger the production of a special protein in our mouths. That protein triggers the release of endorphins, which, as you know, are the chemicals that make us feel awesome when we excercise, eat yummy things or spend time with that special someone.
Besides being literally full of joy, the peppers in Sriracha can improve your health by speeding up your metabolism and suppressing your appetite.
In the world of spicy sauces, Sriracha is special because it manages to trigger those endorphins without burning your nose and eyes, since its molecules are heavier and don’t waft into your nasal cavity like wasabi or spicy mustard. There you have it – eat more Sriracha – for science.
Make your own Sriracha
It’s made from five ingredients that are so easy to find, you can actually make it at home: ground up red chile peppers, garlic powder, salt, sugar, and vinegar.
You could buy it, it’s not very expensive, but it’s oh so much fun to make your own things with stuff you have lying around. Since it involves fermentation (our favorite thing!) why not give it a shot?
- 2 lbs red jalapeno or serrano peppers (or a combo of both)
- 3/4 cups brown sugar
- 8 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 3 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2/3 cup distilled vinegar
- 2 tbs honey
- Cut the tops off your peppers, slice them in half, and toss them into your food processor. Process until totally smooth, which could take more than five minutes.
- Add in garlic, brown sugar, salt, and paprika. Process again until smooth, another 5 minutes or so. Pour into a jar, cover loosely with a partially open lid or clean towel, and store in a cool, dark place for 2 days.
- After 2 days, you should see bubbles at the bottom of the jar – the rumblings of fermented life. You can puree now, or wait another 5 days for it to get super bubbly. The longer it sits, the more flavor (and spice) it’ll take on.
- When you’re preparing to puree, place it back into the food processor, add your vinegar, and puree for five or more minutes until smooth.
- Press the mixture through a mesh sieve, making sure you’ve extracted all liquid. place the liquid in a medium sized sauce pot, bring to a boil, and reduce the heat.
- Add honey, bring to a simmer, and continue simmering until it thickens (about 8-10 minutes). Adjust seasonings to taste.
- Pour into a clean container or glass jar. It’ll keep in the fridge for up to a week.
Sriracha Beer: The “Cocky Rooster”
Inspired by Rogue’s adorably bottled Sriracha Hot Stout, why not add some Sriracha to your beer in honor of Sriracha Week (or, you know, any old time)?
There’s actually a name for a Sriracha-beer combo – the Cocky Rooster. Add lime juice and Sriracha to any lager and garnish with fresh jalapeno slices for the spicy citrus-splashed cold one you deserve.
The Cocky Rooster originated at NYC’s An Choi, rated by GQ as the best bahn mi spot on the Lower East Side. If that kind of accolade turns you off, just forget I said anything.
Inspired by the michelada, a northern Mexican drink where a crisp lager is muddled with Tabasco, ice, salt, lime, and Worchestershire, the owner of An Choi wanted to create the same thing with an Asian twist. The obvious answer is Sriracha.
- Kosher salt
- Lime wedge
- 1 oz. lime juice
- Sriracha to taste
- 3 dashes Maggi sauce (optional – can substitute with equal parts soy sauce and Worchestershire sauce)
- 2 jalapeno slices
- 1 bottle of your favorite Lager (An Choi uses “33” Export)
Rub the lime wedge around the rim of your AleHorn, then turn upside down into the kosher salt to coat. Fill the cup with ice, add lime juice, Maggi, Sriracha, and jalapeno slices. Add the beer and garnish with the lime wedge.
Sriracha Ginger Citrus Cocktail: “The Laughing Buddha”
When using Buddha’s Hand Vodka, this vodka lime ginger brew with Sriracha is called “The Laughing Buddha.” When using any other kid of vodka, feel free to make up your own clever name.
We love that this cocktail features ginger beer, which is one of our favorite fermented things to make ourselves. The ginger spice and chile heat add two different dimensions of flavor that hit at different times during your sip. Knock yourself out adjusting the heat from the Sriracha to taste.
- 2 bottles of ginger beer (or 24 ounces of your own homemade brew)
- The juice of 2 large limes
- 6 shots of citrus vodka
- 32 drops or so of Sriracha sauce
- Lemon wedges for garnish
Combine in a large pitcher with ice and mix well. Garnish each with a lemon wedge.
Thai Gin and Tonic
In our experience, people tend to feel the same way about Sriracha that they do about gin and tonic – you either love it or hate it, there’s no middle ground. Obviously, those who love both should up their cocktail game by combining them.
Why is this “Thai?” Sri Racha is actually a town in Thailand whose name inspired our fave spicy sauce.
- 1 gin and tonic cocktail
- 2 basil leaves
- Sriracha to taste
Mix well and serve over ice
Mead and Sriracha – “The Spicy Viking”
In honor of Sriracha week, we thought we’d do things our own way, so we’ve created the Spicy Viking. We used our four week old ginger mead for this one, but it would work with any mead.
- A hornfull of your favorite semi-sweet mead
- The juice of 1 lime
- Lime wedge
- 1 dash Worchestershire, Maggi or similar savory/salty sauce
- 1/4 tsp (a few drops) Sriracha to taste
- Salt for the rim
Rub the lime wedge around the rim and rub into a plate of salt to coat. Mix all ingredients, add ice. Try mixing in ginger beer!
Other ways to Celebrate Sriracha
If you’re not feeling particularly into making cocktails or your own sauce, just grab yourself a prepared Sriracha product like Rogue Hot Stout or UV Sriracha Vodka.
UV has become a favorite of brunchsters looking to mix up the perfect Bloody Mary, but you can certainly have it on the rocks or mixed in your horn with a lager and some tomato juice.
As with any other product with a cult following, people have found ways to express their love for Sriracha through many different avenues, including shoes, hoodies, and baby clothes.
The most important thing about Sriracha week is that you keep it in your heart (or in your pocket) all year long.