The original Tabasco sauce is a hot spicy condiment made only from Tabasco peppers, salt and vinegar. Originally both the peppers and salt came from Avery Island, Louisiana home of the manufacturer, the McIlhenny Company. The Sauce is named after the Mexican state of Tabasco. Freshly harvested peppers are pulped and blended with salt and aged for up to three years in old Jack Daniel’s oak barrels. The aged pulp is strained, mixed with vinegar and sold in the distinctively shaped bottles modelled on the original discarded cologne bottles first used in 1868 by Edmund McIlhenny. Original Tabasco sauce measures 2,500–5,000 SHU on the Scoville scale.
The McIlhenny company now manufactures a number of varieties including Reserve and Diamond aged Tabasco sauces, a green Jalapeño-based version, and a Chipotle-based smoked Habanero sauce. Miniature bottles of Tabasco, bearing the presidential seal, are served on Air Force One and the American, Australian, Canadian and UK armies all issue small bottles of Tabasco sauce in their rations.
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