Burning sensation

Hellfire Sriracha, Preservation and Co.

Illustration by PRISCILLA GARCIA

A badass hot sauce is the mark of a passionate kitchen. But the hottest heat is often off-menu—so just ask. Locally, the leaders of the pack are the legendary “Ass Fire” habanero zinger (whose origins go back to Mulvaney's B&L and Robb Venditti, now at Pangaea), and the “Swayze,” an abusive ghost-pepper-based beezy at Mother you'll remember days later (you know). It's time to add Preservation and Co.'s “Hellfire Sriracha” ($8) to the 916 mantle of heat. This puppy tricks you with its cider-y nose and sweet initial bite. But, like a pill that at first won't kick in, Hellfire delivers. It also plays nice with food, such as pizza, chicken satay or an omelet. 1717 19th Street, www.preservationandco.com.