Voodoo witchcraft hails from New Orleans and the Caribbean Islands. This recipe pays homage by using ingredients from those areas: Creole cajun spices, Caribbean dark rum, molasses, and of course - ghost peppers.
This Jolokia Rum Voodoo Really is a superbly balanced sauce with heat and plenty of flavour! It goes well on everything!
• Heat: Very Hot
• Suitable for vegans
• No artificial colouring or preservatives
Now if you've read my review of Baxter's Spicy Bourbon BBQ, you would be aware of my love/hate relationship with alcohol. Summarised, I've loved it for years in excess, and it has left me with fewer memories and 55kg of additional weight. I'm not ready to call it quits, though moderation is definitely in play, and one great workaround is to incorporate it into food, thus my interest in this something rum something something sauce.
No, that's overly generalized because I am also a huge fan of hot sauces. So combining Jolokia (ghost pepper) with Caribbean (where my mum came from) Rum (my favourite spirit) and that is something that will greatly interest me.
As a disclaimer, I clearly enjoy hot sauces and currently have about 15 bottles of various hot sauces all that I've acquired in maybe the last 4 months. We use them a lot in my household of two, so it's fair to say we have a good tolerance. Ghost Pepper is what I'd call my optimal area of hot sauce heat. Spicy Sriracha sauces might as well be tomato sauce to me, but Carolina Reaper will have me searching for water or milk (I'm lactose intolerant) to slow the burn. I sit somewhere in the middle with the Jolokia ghost peppers. It'll have a serious kick if I'm too generous with my portions but I know I can handle it.
This Baxter's Jolokia Rum Voodoo Hot Sauce is exactly what I was expecting heat-wise. This isn't dialled back, and doesn't have a bunch of additives to change the heat levels at all. This sits on par with all other ghost pepper sauces in terms of heat. The flavour itself has an intriguing flavour profile with sweetness from the rum and molasses, turned into tanginess due to the cajun spices. Almost creating a faux-citrusy flavour to it.
I went ahead and made a simple healthy-ish meal of quarter of an air roasted chicken with a homemade coleslaw salad. To give the chicken some flavour, I added some Spicy Bourbon BBQ, but I still needed some sort of dressing for my coleslaw. Now mayonnaise is very high calorie, so I didn't use that. In fact, any creamy dressing is expensive when you are counting calories, so I simply used freshly squeezed lemonn juice and a generous splash of Jolokia Rum Voodoo Hot Sauce! Yes, hot sauce was my dressing for coleslaw. I'm crazy, but it did the job!
Now, what I love about the level of heat from the ghost pepper sauce is how it has a nice sweet and tangy flavour, but it isn't overwhelming. The heat comes in with every bite, but it recedes away quite quickly afterwards. You aren't left with burning forever in your mouth from a single bite. The intensity of the heat can accumulate if you eat enough of it in a short amount of time, but if it starts getting too hot, simply pause for a minute and the heat will dissipate. It's this quick dissipation rate that makes it an ideal sauce that has since been added to most meals afterwards, as you have very fine control of the level of spice and kick in your meal.
The packaging is nice; small, with a plastic bit on the top that prevents too much from coming out at once. Thoughtful and again adds to that high level of control. Baxter's is being responsible. I can get behind that.
I personally am not a huge eater of really really spicy, but have a husband (and to some degree our son as well) who is, and he really likes to push the boundaries when it comes to spice, flavour and heat and with that in mind, I decided to request this sauce for my hubby as he says regularly that he has not found a really "blow your mind'' hot sauce yet, and this one sounded like (especially with ghost peppers, rumoured to be the most hot of the hot) it could really be just that.
With being in lockdown 2.0 Delta edition, there were no takeaways, and we are trying to stick to a good budget and not going out more than we should to the supermarket, so our meals are tending to be a little on the tame ''kids will eat it all'' side, with my hubby and I then adding spice to the same dish they are having. On this occasion I decided to let hubby try this one, I have to to honest - I was too chicken!! We were having sausages, eggs, chips and baked beans (our break-ner type of dinner - hybrid breakfast and dinner) and hubby though what better way to try then straight on some foods, as well as mixed in with the sauce from the beans, and maybe the egg yolk would help if the heat was really intense.... his thoughts, not mine haha. He shook a good dollop onto his plate and proceeded to try it, and his reaction was priceless - winner winner ghost pepper winner!
When I asked him to describe the taste, he said it was like he had rubbed a chilli all around his mouth, and from the sweat on his top lip, I would say that the amount he tried certainly gave his palate a good dosing and workout. On asking further he said the sauce had a beautiful mixture of flavours - sweet, heat, and spice and he really enjoyed it.
Whilst I wasn't prepared to try it, I did have a smell of it and was struck by the sweet smell, it is a really lovely looking and smelling sauce, and by all accounts, tastes fantastic. It is on the pricier side as it is a small bottle, but, I get the feeling you are not going to slather it on like some of the other Baxter's sauces and so it will last quite a while. This sauce has a big thumbs up from my hubby, he was well and truly impressed and I would definitely purchase it for him again.
Ghost chili is one of the hottest peppers available, so when I read the label of this sauce I was forewarned as to what to expect. I started by tasting a little to evaluate the strength, and found it was quite hot - but I did not need the glass of water I had placed strategically nearby just in case, so the strength was not beyond my comfort level. I had planned a variation on a traditional bouillabaisse for dinner, and although it is ok to put the hot sauce into the rouille, I decided to serve it separately so everyone could add it to their own taste.
When I served up, I added several drops to my own and stirred it in. Those first few drops were not enough for my liking; I ended up stirring in the better part of a teaspoon. Others were more cautious, with one person adding just a single drop! I thought it really brought out the different flavours in the soup, and the others agreed that it gave it an added tang, livening up the white fish (hoki) in particular. Even my friend who stopped at a single drop said it made the meal more interesting.
Having tested it with a group, I then tried a couple of drops mixed into scrambled eggs just before they set. This was delicious; I did not use too much as my partner prefers less spicy food, but even a small amount gave the eggs some extra zing and cut out the need for added salt. I liked the idea of having rum and molasses for breakfast; very pirate friendly! Although these items could not be tasted separately, there was a roundness to the flavour which was no doubt related to them. There was a smoothness to the sauce which I have not found in less sophisticated chili sauces.
I did experiment by putting a few drops into a cheese scone mix, but it was hardly discernible once the scones were out of the oven. I probably underestimated the amount that might have been appropriate. Next time I will double the amount of sauce and cut down the milk slightly. I think, if I get the balance right, this will be a tasty way to make savoury scones with very little effort. It is reassuring to see that the product contains no artificial preservatives; this is a bonus for those with food allergies. Because the sauce is all natural, it does need to be stored in the fridge after opening, but this is not a problem since the bottle is quite small so takes up very little room.
I do think it is a little pricey for the amount you get, but it is probably no more expensive than if you were to buy the ingredients separately and make your own. And of course there is no waste or preparation time, both factors that make it an attractive product to buy. At 150 ml per bottle, that makes 30 x 5-ml servings, and even more if some people use less than the recommended amount.
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