Making and Labeling Boozey Hot Sauce




About: I'm a maker with a penchant for art and a love of sculpting the unsettling. I also appreciate the history of deep craft traditions and would be a good part of any post apocalypse survival team.

I recently went on a hot sauce making kick and decided to bottle some up to give as gifts. I wanted to create a rustic and clean label as part of it, and definitely do it on the cheap. Also, the types of sauces I made all contain whiskey of some variety, so I liked the idea of using a brown paper bag like you just walked out of the liquor store. 

This is kind of a three for one Instructable with recipe and two types of labels, but it takes you through my day of hot saucing. 

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Make Your Concoction

I winged the hot sauces and didn't really know what I was going to make until it was underway. You know how the creative process goes. I put on a respirator because the air gets pretty thick when all those hot peppers are cooking. I made three hot sauces, bourbon ginger, Ardbeg thai chili and scotch jalapeño. 

Bourbon Ginger Hot Sauce
6 serrano peppers
3" of fresh ginger
2 oz bourbon
2-3 Tbs of pomegranate seeds
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp salt
1/2 lime
1/2 cup water
1 Tbs vinegar
1 Tbs olive oil
Dash of pepper

Split the serranos in half and put them in a cast iron skillet on high until they start to blister and turn black. Toss in the garlic for another couple of minutes. Lastly add the ginger and pomegranate and 1 oz of the bourbon. Toss it all around until the liquid has evaporated.

Put all of the ingredients, including what was in the skillet, into the food processor. I left the skin on the lime and just tossed it in. Let it go for 3-5 minutes.

Strain the mixture, bottle it and keep it in the fridge.

Scotch Thai Chili Hot Sauce
1 cup of thai chilis
2 oz of Ardbeg scotch
1 tsp brown sugar
1 Clove garlic
1 Tbs salt
1 Tbs lime juice
1 Tbs olive oil
Dash of pepper

Do the same as above, but heating only the chilis and garlic. 

Scotch Jalepeno Hot Sauce
4 Jalapenos
2 oz of Ardbeg scotch
1 Clove garlic
1 Tbs salt
1/2 lime whole
1/2 c. fresh cilantro
1/4 of a small onion
1 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp Cayenne
1 tsp Chipotle
1 tsp Pasilla 

Do the same as above, but heating only the Jalapenos, garlic and onion.

Step 2: Cut and Iron the Paper Bag

First off, you're going to make an 8.5x11 piece of paper from a brown paper bag. Just cut the two largest panels, iron them, and then use a piece of paper as a template. It needs to be fairly exact or your printer do its 'I hate you' noises. 

Step 3: Make Your Design

I pulled images of the ingredients off the interweb and arranged them into a nice grid. I turned the image black and white, pumped the contrast and lowered the brightness to get the mid-tones to show up on the brown paper.

Step 4: Print and Paste

For this bottle size (it's an old Soy Sauce bottle) one sheet of paper was perfect for two labels. Do a test run with a white sheet of paper first. When you print, you may need to tell your printer that you're using a heavier weight paper.

Once it's printed, cut it to size, put some glue on the edges and voila. Lovely brown paper textured label. 

Step 5: Large Bag Into Small Bag

Another alternative is to create a bottle sized bag from the 8.5x11 print out. Since I had to fold and handle this page more, the ink started to crack and come off a bit. I used a laser printer, so you might have better luck with inkjet. I had a box of crackers about the right size and folded the paper around one side like a present. Then I creased the two sides inward.

The whole project turned out pretty well and definitely got the "I can't believe you made this!" response. 

Be the First to Share


    • Kitchen Skills Challenge

      Kitchen Skills Challenge
    • Teacher Contest

      Teacher Contest
    • Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest

      Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest

    9 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Going to try this tomorrow, any idea how hot the first recipe is? Just a dab on the side of the plate? Or just sort of splash it about? Are serrano peppers hot ones?

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    You can splash this around a bit. I love adding it to veggies when I'm sauteing. Serranos are a bit hotter than jalapenos, but if you want to reduce the heat, just remove the veins and seeds, our up it with a few more. The ginger also adds heat. Let me know how it turns out!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    very cool. how long does the sauce last in the fridge?

    I love the idea of reusing my paper bags and printing on them. I have used it for wrapping paper and book covers but that is so cool to print right on there.
    I actually sell Kraft looking labels but these look amazing.

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! Mine's been fine in the fridge for a few weeks and could probably go longer, but I'm not 100% sure how long.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Great labels … Now if my friends find a respirator among my cooking tools they may not come to dinner before long !!!…  ;)))


    5 years ago

    excellent job man!! it's a great way to sell your products around town that's for sure.. thank you for sharing this.

    1 reply

    Thanks! It was just a one day project to make some nice gifts for folks, but it would be great if it helps out someone's business.