|They ripen from the bottom up.|
Mike's basic vinegar-based hot sauce
1 1/2 cup white vinegar
1 lb of cayenne peppers, seeded and chopped
1 West Indian Bay Leaf
1 tsp salt
Simmer all ingredients for 10 minutes. Let cool, remove bay leaf, and blend until homogenous. Preserve in a large glass jar and store in a cool dark place for 3 to 6 months (or longer, if you have the patience –– I plan on waiting until December, in case I want to gift it). Strain and bottle once you're ready. I'll post pictures of the bottling process in five months!
Note: The bay leaf is optional but adds a wonderful musty floral note to the sauce that really distinguishes it from other sauces in the genre. I recommend the West Indian bay leaf sold at Épices de Cru. The flavor is much more intense and peppery than the Mediterranean variety we are used to.