Baton Rouge-based company Swamp Dragon adds a boozy twist to traditional hot sauce recipes. The brand says goodbye to the common use of vinegar and replaces it with different alcohols. The unique hot sauce is set to appear on both Viceland’s “Most Expensivest” and The Today Show.
“It’s a completely different flavor profile – there’s nothing like it,” says founder and owner Matt Beeson.
Beeson, an LSU alumnus and previous AgCenter tenant, says the white vinegar in most hot sauces is used as the preservative to keep them shelf-stable but ultimately hinders the bold flavors. He says the alcohol replaces the white vinegar to bring out the flavors from the peppers, not just the heat.
Swamp Dragon hot sauce is 20% alcohol by volume, for both safety and taste reasons.
Swamp dragon proclaims itself as the “only truly liquor-based hot sauce,” citing only two ingredients on its label – aged peppers and the alcohol involved – compared to the many ingredients of other alcohol-infused hot sauces.
“There’s a bunch of hot sauces out there selling like, ‘bourbon-infused hot sauce,'” says Matt Beeson. “[The ingredient list of one of the sauces] must have [had] … I don’t know, 11 ingredients in this hot sauce. Number one was water, number two was vinegar, number seven was black pepper and number eight was bourbon.”
Not only does Swamp Dragon use booze to stand out among a saturated hot sauce market, but the brand also sells “Private Collection” bottles. The limited edition bottles are made with higher quality and higher priced alcohol, causing the sauce to significantly go up in price and taste.
The previous sold out Private Collection used a single bottle of Paul Beau Grand Champagne cognac to create 9 bottles of sauce, each priced at $250. The cognac was aged for over 50 years, and only 20 bottles were imported to the United States.
These expensive hot sauce bottles will be featured on Viceland’s Most Expensivest, hosted by rapper and media personality 2 Chainz, on August 6. Beeson also gave two of the Private Collection bottles to 2 Chainz himself.
In honor of the show, Beeson has made a second edition of Private Collection sauces, now featuring a $1300 bottle of Black Tot rum. The limited edition bottles will be priced at $500 a piece, and Beeson is hoping to have them ready for the live viewing party at Edge Bar at L’Auberge Casino on August 6. Beeson says a raffle of one of the limited edition bottles could be in the works.
Beeson also told us that Swamp Dragon will appear on The Today Show on July 25 when 2 Chainz makes a guest appearance.