Barrel-Aged Sriracha

MADE BY SOSU SAUCES IN OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA

MOUTH SAYS...

What could possibly make everyone's favorite hot-red condiment any better? Turns out, making it from scratch and aging it in a whiskey barrel. Pretty genius.

At Sosu Sauces, they age their top-secret chile pepper mash in whiskey barrels for between 1 and 3 months, which gives the sauce a rich depth of flavor and a hint of smoke. It starts out sweet, gets garlicky in the middle and finishes with a slow, smoky burn. Until we go back for another spoonful...

Tip of the tongue

Whenever we can get head-on shrimp, we make this riff on a recipe from cookbook author and blogger Molly Wizenberg (it's great with headless shrimp too . . . ):

Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 cup barrel-aged sriracha and the zest of 1 lime and stir to combine, then add 1 pound shell-on whole shrimp (rinse and remove the legs first). Sautè, tossing or stirring occasionally until the shrimp are opaque and curled into a "c" shape. Remove from the heat and add chopped basil and cilantro and the juice of 1 or 2 limes.

Serve with lots of napkins, a crusty baguette and a very cold bottle of not-too-dry white wine, like Billsboro Winery's Sauvignon Blanc 2013