Hot Fun in the Summertime

Move over mayonnaise. Step aside ketchup. Summer is the right time to meet the heat of local hot sauces. As consumer tastes reflect a growing interest in global flavors, several local entrepreneurs are making their own spicy statements with inventive small-batch sauces that serve up the flavor profiles we’re craving. Here are a few that can add verve to your favorite dishes. Visit for a list of more local sauces.

Not Yo’ Daddy’s Mexican Hot Sauce

The family recipe for this Akronmade bold and smoky sauce originates in Durango, Mexico. If picante and a little pepper aftertaste is your preference, go ahead and pour this on your huevos rancheros or, really, anything at all.

Jack Flaps Housemade Hot Sauce

Randy Carter’s sauce contains Fresno peppers, including the seeds. Fear not, it’s versatile—great with shrimp and grits or a bahn mi, or just on a spoon. Get it at their two Cleveland locations.

Fred Hot Vampire Fire

Don’t let the name scare you. This all-purpose sauce has a sundried tomato and garlic base and a desirable bite that comes from ancho, Fresno, and ghost chilis. Mix with mayonnaise for a spicier cocktail sauce, or splash on top of a slice of pizza for extra zing.

Ol’ Dirty Sheets Senor Smoke Dawg

This sauce has a lot of smoke—smoked chipotles, smoked sea salt, and hickory smoke flavoring. It smells like summertime BBQ. Find it at Local Roots Market and Meatheads Union in Wooster.

Stray Dog Wrath Of Dog Hot Sauce

Charly Murphy’s signature sauce is intense, but not hot. Thick and dark, the richness comes from smoked and pickled jalapeño and smoked salt. Try mixing it with ranch dressing and potato chips. Grab a pouch at Stray Dog Café or Stray Dog City Tavern in Akron.

Soho Chicken + Whiskey’s Good Golly Hot Sauce

This red and habanero pepper sauce is a perfect match for low country and Southern dishes. Sop up some of this addictive sauce with a house-made biscuit, drizzle on their signature fried chicken, and then take some home for a big ol’ pot of red beans and rice. Purchase at SoHo restaurant in Ohio City.