Tabañero Original Hot Sauce Review

Okay, so no one drinks hot sauces (at least among who I know), but Tabañero will make you want to. This isn’t a fiery hot sauce that will burn your taste buds off. No, it’s a mellow hot sauce that can be enjoyed because of its massive flavor and, frankly, it’s lack of repercussions. This is the kind of sauce anybody can enjoy because you can put it on anything, but how well do Tabanero’s flavor and heat balance stack up? Let’s find out!


Fun fact: Tabañero also labels this original hot sauce as a “Bloody Mary Mix” on their site, which I think is wildly appropriate. Because you’ll want to gulp it down.

Let’s begin with its ingredients: select habanero peppers, carrots, onions, key lime juice, pickled garlic, agave, salt, and spices.

From the second Tabañero Original Hot Sauce hits your tongue, the sweetness from the key lime juice, mixed with the onions and pickled garlic, makes your tongue extremely happy. This sweet side balances out the habaneros, which only offer a slight kick and fade into the background rather quickly. More on that to follow.

Tabanero Original Hot Sauce on a spoon

You can literally drink this and it will never get past a medium heat, which is why I realize they labeled it a Bloody Mary mix as well. My review bottle is not large enough to accommodate how many Bloody Marys I’d actually want with Tabañero, but they also sell a Tabañero Bloody Mary Mix made for the moment. Think of the traditional hot sauce as a nice mixer to add a little oomph to your tomato juice, and it’ll go far.

What you mostly get with this sauce is a sweet flavor up front with a mellow heat on the backend. But a notable addition is the pickled garlic. It provides a slight vinegar kick and that’s a nice addition. If you think of Tabañero as a lovely vacation from “burn your tongue off” kind of sauces, then you won’t be disappointed.

Heat Balance:

Habaneros are the pepper behind the heat in Tabañero Original. Fresh habaneros range from 100,000 to 350,000 Scoville heat units, but this hot sauce comes nowhere near that. The hab heat is well diluted down to a very eatable medium heat.

The heat works with the sauce, and you can slather Tabañero on anything (and often) and not feel like you’re going to be overwhelmed. Don’t be scared off by habaneros on the label. Think family-friendly heat, and that makes it one very usable sauce as well.


Tabañero maybe the perfect catch-all for the breakfast table. It’s ideal for both Bloody Marys (a.k.a. “morning recovery”) and those morning eggs.

There’s a reason you see Tabañero popping up at restaurants – it’s mellow, easy to use, and delicious. It works well on fried chicken, and it’s a saving grace on steamed veggies where some extra flavor is often needed. And as a salad dressing, it’s quite good. That lightly chunky texture brings sweet life to greens.

This bottle does not come with a stopper. Seriously, if it did, it would anger a lot of people. This is a hot sauce meant to be layered. Pour away.


Tabañero is a daily driver type of hot sauce that you’ll order in bulk. It wins by pleasing everyone at the table. But “collectibility” is not where these types of sauces shine. Yes, once you try Tabañero, you may want to always have a bottle around, but you’ll end up treating this more like an everyday condiment than a collectibility hot sauce.

The Score:

Tabañero Original Hot Sauce can please everyone at the table. It has a flavor, sweetness, and kick that won’t even bother your hot-sauce-hating aunt.

Final Score3.8
Overall Flavor4.5
Heat Balance3.5
Based on a scale from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest)

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on September 8, 2020 to include new content.
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