The Gulf Coast — especially Louisiana and Texas — are well known for their love of pepper sauces. The McIlhenny Family planted the "Tabasco" fortune right square on beautiful Avery Island, Louisiana, and despite the economy, gas prices, and hurricanes, has continued to thrive and grow as a vital, international corporation.
While we tip our hats to their Tabasco sauce, we prefer to make our own using home-grown hybrid habanero peppers, and a good white wine. We believe that if you can just get past that first sting, these peppers have the broadest depth of flavor we've ever tried, so we use at least a little dab of it on just about everything.
We store the pepper sauce in empty, cleaned liquor bottles with screw-on tops, and have been seen leaving local parties with empty Jack Daniels and Grey Goose bottles under each arm. That's all we'll admit to, anyway.
We clean the bottles and run them through the dishwasher immediately before we use them, so they are good and hot. Then, we don latex gloves, harvest as many peppers as we can find, and haul them into the kitchen. After a throrough wash-and-dry, we slice the stem ends off, cut them in half lengthwise, and stuff them down the neck of the bottle. When we have either stuffed the bottle full, or run out of peppers, we open and pour in as much good white wine as the bottle will hold. We use a good pinot grigio or very dry chardonnay, and we fill it to the top.
No need to wait to let the sauce "age." The alcohol in the wine goes right to work releasing the capsaicin in those nasty orange orbs. Just give it a good shake and it's ready to use. Store it in the fridge between uses.
We recommend caution and a learner's permit until you're comfortable with the combustion.