Mexican Hot Sauce: Top 7 Most Popular Brands

mexican hot sauces
It's hard to imagine Mexican cuisine without one of its most vital ingredients: hot sauce. With so many fantastic options, choosing one for your favorite tacos can be difficult. Let's look at some of the best-known brands of Mexican hot sauce and see how they compare!

What Is Authentic Mexican Hot Sauce?

Mexico has a deep history and relationship with its hot peppers. While the “traditional” Mexican hot sauce consists of chili peppers and vinegar, many popular brands use interesting combinations of different chilis and spices that make each hot sauce taste unique.

The native chili cultivars that currently grow there are known to produce some of the spiciest and most delicious hot sauces on the market! Hot peppers and their sauces are key components of most Mexican food.

From árbol peppers to serranos to guajillos, there are dozens of Mexican peppers to choose from when making hot sauce.

pepper variety for mexican hot sauce
Pepper variety for Mexican hot sauce.

At its core, an authentic Mexican hot sauce likes to rely on the flavors of the chilis grown there. Every prominent Mexican hot sauce manufacturer knows that chili peppers are essential to any good hot sauce. These manufacturers prioritize having farms that can produce quality peppers to create the best possible hot sauce.

How Spicy Is Mexican Hot Sauce?

Every hot sauce will have a different amount of heat depending on the peppers used within the recipe. Mexican chilis have a wide range of heat on the Scoville scale, so naturally, the sauces produced will also vary in heat.

For example, El Yucateco is one of the more popular brands of hot sauce, and they offer several different styles that feature a variety of peppers. Their classic red hot sauce uses fresh habanero peppers, which are incredibly spicy, making the sauce come in between 7,600-9,500 SHUs.

However, they do offer some milder options as well. Their jalapeno sauce uses a combination of jalapeno peppers, vinegar, garlic and other spices to create a vibrant flavor sauce. Still, it only is about 1,500-1,900 SHUs on the Scoville scale.

What Hot Sauce Is Most Popular In Mexico?

There currently is no data to determine which hot sauce is most prevalent in Mexico. However, according to data gathered by Instacart from their customers’ purchase histories, the most popular Mexican hot sauce in the US is Cholula, coming in at number three on their list of America’s favorite hot sauces.

cholula hot sauce
Cholula Original Hot Sauce.

We can assume Cholula is also popular in Mexico, as it is an authentic Mexican hot sauce with roots going back several generations in Mexico. Other contenders for popular hot sauces in Mexico include Tapatio and Valentina, both of which also made the list of the most popular hot sauces in America.

Top 7 Most Popular Brands Of Mexican Hot Sauce


Valentina is one of the most recognizable brands of Mexican hot sauce, and for good reason! The puya chili peppers used to make the sauce have a bright, tangy flavor with a good kick of heat. Valentina Salsa Picante with the yellow label is their classic sauce, but try the black label if you’re looking for something even spicier.

Valentina hot sauce is found in most grocery and Latin American food stores but can also be found online.


Búfalo is made in the heart of Mexico City and is one of the more unique sauces produced in Mexico. This sauce is rich in sweet and smoky flavors from the primary ingredient: guajillo peppers. This sauce is special because of its thick consistency, making it perfect for dipping your taco or adding to soups.

You can find Búfalo readily in Latin American food stores, but you can also find it at online specialty retailers.


My personal favorite hot sauce, Cholula, is excellent as a go-to hot sauce for spicing up any dish. Made with a blend of chile de arbol and piquin chili peppers, this sauce offers a lot of flavor with perfect heat. Beyond their classic Cholula Original Hot Sauce, Cholula has a wide variety of flavors, including chipotle, chili garlic, chili lime and sweet habanero.

Cholula is widely available at most grocery stores throughout the country and even offers a handy store locator on their website.

La Guacamaya

With flavors as colorful as the birds that this sauce is named after, Guacamaya is an incredibly spicy hot sauce made in Sinaloa, Mexico. The sauce has a rich family history, originally having been ground by hand with a corn mill and stone grinder. A perfect blend of spicy habanero chilis and various spices, Guacamaya is the ideal balance of sweet, smoky, and spicy flavors.

You should be able to find Guacamaya at your local Latin American grocery store, but it’s also easy to find online.


Salsa Huichol is an incredible example of a classic Mexican hot sauce. Made with a blend of cascabel chili peppers, vinegar, cumin and salt, this sauce from Jalisco, Mexico is vibrant with heat. Huichol first began when the founder Roberto Lopez would package his family recipe hot sauce in empty beer bottles that local kids would collect for him. These humble beginnings eventually led to Huichol becoming one of Mexico’s most popular hot sauces.

Huichol is usually found at Latin American food stores but can also be bought online through various sellers.


Tapatío is the only sauce on this list that’s not produced in Mexico but is made in Vernon, California. Chances are if you’ve been in a Mexican restaurant in the US, you’ve seen a bottle of Tapatío.

A family from Guadalajara founded the company and continues celebrating their Mexican heritage with this incredible sauce. Tapatío is famous for its well-balanced flavors of pepper and vinegar, a classic Mexican hot sauce blend.

Tapatío can easily be found at most grocery stores and is available directly through their online store.

El Yucateco

El Yucateco is made in the Yucatan Peninsula in southeastern Mexico. This sauce is famously spicy, with its most popular sauce being Red Habanero. Despite being so spicy, the sauce is well-balanced in flavor by combining habaneros, tomatoes, and vinegar.

El Yucateco is available at most grocery stores and can be purchased at online retailers such as Amazon.

How To Make Mexican Hot Sauce

If you love these popular Mexican hot sauces, why not try to make some at home? Homemade Mexican hot sauce is easy to make and allows you to adjust the recipe based on your tastes.

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mexican hot sauces

Homemade Mexican Sauce


Homemade Mexican hot sauce is easy to make and allows you to adjust the recipe based on your tastes.


Units Scale
  • 4 dried Mexican chiles (based on availability and heat preference)
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vinegar (white or cider)


  1. Remove seeds and stems from dried peppers.
  2. Heat a cast iron over medium heat. Toast the chiles for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
  3. Add peppers to a bow and cover with warm water. Soak for 30-45 minutes or until very soft and pliable. Peel the skin off the peppers and transfer the peppers to a food processor.
  4. Blend peppers with 1½ cups water, then add remaining ingredients and blend thoroughly.
  5. Use as-is or strain for a smoother consistency. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Category: sauce
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: Mexican hot sauce


Leland has spent most of his life in both the garden and the kitchen. A veggie garden is a place of harmony between his love of cooking and working with plants. Naturally, he loves peppers and plants about a dozen new and interesting varieties every year. His current pepper project is preparing to overwinter a jalapeño plant which he hopes will continue to flourish until the next flowering season. Leland is always excited to learn about new spicy and flavorful chilis, and he is constantly looking for new recipes to put his new peppers to the test!

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