Tabasco Diamond Reserve and a Whiskey-based Bloody Mary

So, a Tabasco post on a whiskey blog? Yes, and you’ll soon see why…

For as long as I can remember, there has always been a bottle of Tabasco on the dining room table. My dad put the Louisiana hot sauce on everything. I remember trying it on a cracker once when I was young. It was just a drop or two, but it lit my mouth on fire. I stayed away from it for years. But as I grew up, I found myself using Tabasco more often. In fact, I refuse make scrambled eggs without it.

And Tabasco’s been around long before my memories. This year mark’s their 150th anniversary. To commemorate the milestone, they’ve released their Diamond Reserve. It contains peppers aged up to fifteen years in oak barrels, whereas the peppers in the standard Tabasco sauce age for three. By the way, those oak barrels are ex-bourbon barrels, but none of the trapped whiskey makes its way into the pepper mash. This limited release sauce also uses sparkling white wine vinegar instead of standard white vinegar, hence the champagne-looking bottle.

Tabasco’s normally a nice balance of spicy and tart. The Diamond Reserve almost comes across as aged balsamic vinegar on the nose. Taste-wise, the heat seems slightly reserved compared to the standard,which is more heat up-front. The flavors here come across as much more rounded and complex.

I wanted to use this Tabasco release in a Bloody Mary, but with whiskey instead of vodka. I don’t like a heavy Bloody Mary, so no horseradish here. George Dickel No. 12 is the base spirit, along with a little George Dickel Tabasco Barrel Finish. I also added a bit of Lagavulin 16 to add some smoky complexity.

  • 1oz George Dickel No. 12
  • .5oz George Dickel Tabasco Barrel Finish
  • .5oz Lagavulin 16yo
  • 4oz tomato juice
  • 3-4 dashes Tabasco Diamond Reserve
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Dash of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Add all ingredients to a highball glass. Fill glass with ice and mix. Garnish with a celery stalk.

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