Cholula has been a staple in American kitchens for more than a century, and still continues to be one of the best-selling brands in the U.S. Each batch of hot sauce is handcrafted in Mexico and packaged in the U.S. For more than 70 years, the company has been committed to bringing its product to the American table, and it retains the same ethos today as it did back in 1939.

I am about to review Cholula’s new hot sauce, aptly named “Red Habanero”. I reviewed it here, and it also won a prize at the 2013 San Antonio Chile Pepper Festival. It is pretty good, but it’s not my favorite.

It is the best sauce on the market, kicking out competitors in taste and price, so why not give it a try? First of all, I can safely say that Cholula is a staple in my kitchen. If I’m not using it on a taco or on a salad, I’ve got it on the go for something else.

Cholula Original Spicy Sauce is a Mexican hot sauce that has been passed down through generations and is marketed all over the globe. It’s not too hot, with enough of vinegar zing – a crowd-pleasing combination. But how effectively does the heat and vinegar combination work together? What additional benefits does it bring to the table? Is it as practical as many of its supermarket-shelf rivals? Let’s have a look at Cholula and discover what it has to offer.



Original Cholula Hot Sauce (priced as a pack of 3)


The rich chili pepper profile of Cholula Original Hot Sauce sets the standard for taste in mass-market hot sauces. It’s a delectable blend of smokey, nutty, acidic, and somewhat spicy flavors that’s extremely adaptable.

Temperature Range: Upper-mild to low-medium (1,000 to 2,000 SHU)


  • Natural tastes of pequin and arbol are used to great effect.
  • Heat that’s good for the whole family
  • Versatile


  • Sodium levels are higher.
  • The heat level falls just short of the chilies’ promise.

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20th of July, 2021, at 6:40 p.m. GMT


Let’s start with the components in Cholula Original Hot Sauce – there aren’t many, but the way they combine is amazing. The components are as follows: Xanthan gum, water, arbol and pequin peppers, salt, vinegar, garlic powder, spices, and xanthan gum

Even with just seven ingredients on the list, Cholula Original Hot Sauce is a taste explosion. It’s mostly owing to the brand’s decision to highlight the distinct taste of the chile de arbol and pequin peppers.

The vinegar flavor is noticeable at first, but it isn’t overpowering. Instead, there’s just enough tanginess to please, allowing the nuttiness of the chile de arbol peppers and the citrusy, smokey taste of the pequin peppers to shine. This spicy sauce’s acidic side is well balanced by the smokey undertone, particularly when combined with the sweet pungency of garlic powder.

Cholula Original Hot Sauce contains 110 milligrams of sodium per teaspoon serving (or 4 percent of your daily allowance.) When using Cholula Original, keep in mind that it has a strong saltiness, therefore exercise caution when adding more to a meal. The hot sauce alone, particularly given how mild it is, may be plenty in terms of saltiness.

Cholula Original Hot Sauce on a spoonOn a spoon, Cholula Original Hot Sauce

Temperature Harmony

Both chile de arbol and pequin peppers have a medium heat level, but pequins are even hotter than cayenne peppers (40,000 to 60,000 Scoville heat units), while chile de arbol has a heat level that is slightly below that of a cayenne pepper (15,000 to 30,000 Scoville heat units).

So there’s the potential for some serious heat. That is, assuming the ingredient list didn’t include the word “water.” Because of the dilution, the heat is significantly reduced. Cholula’s original hot sauce has a Scoville heat rating of 1,000 to 2,000, placing it in the upper-mild to lower-medium spiciness range. Cholula Original Hot Sauce is in the same range as Sriracha (1,000 to 2,500 SHU) and somewhat less hot than Tabasco Original Red (2,500 to 5,000 SHU).

Sure, it’s a pretty palatable amount of spiciness. It’s also one of the reasons why this spicy sauce is so popular. And, as we preach at, chili peppers are as much about the distinct tastes they bring to the table as they are about the heat. Cholula scores a knock-out there. The heat balance is just right to let you know it’s there without overpowering the wonderful flavors pequin and chile de arbol bring to the table.

The spiciness strikes you in the middle of your bite and just warms your mouth. It never stays too long or travels to the back of the throat, even as you consume more and more. Overall, it’s as family-friendly as a spicy sauce can get, with a noticeable kick that won’t turn anybody off over time. It’s ideal as a table hot sauce for daily usage or for parties with a broad range of heat tolerance levels.


Cholula Original, like other mass-market hot sauces, has a high usability rating. It’s just designed to be an everyday driver. It goes well with pizza, rice, potato dishes, and many kinds of eggs. It’s also a perfect match for any kind of Mexican cuisine (seriously, that smoky, nutty flavor is pure win with tacos and burritos.)

Cholula Hot Sauce is also great for cooking with, and you’ll get a lot more flavor out of it that way. I use this sauce to cook my chicken, and it has a wonderful nutty taste with a tang from the vinegar. Every time I use it, it adds exactly the perfect amount of spice.

One remark on consistency: Water is the first component on Cholula Original Hot Sauce’s ingredient list, but this isn’t a watery hot sauce in the least. It’s quite thick, so it clings to anything you put it on. It won’t dilute your meal or cause heat discrepancies owing to quick dilution.


Cholula Hot Sauces are as mainstream as they get, therefore they aren’t collectable in the conventional sense. However, simply for the sake of having a bottle in your collection, you’d be foolish not to have one. It’s that good. For good reason, it has such a devoted fanbase.

The label has a typical Mexican feel to it, with a lady dressed in traditional Mexican garb and garden-fresh veggies (including chili peppers) hanging to the side. All of this takes place in front of a traditional arched window. It screams genuineness.

The Texas Rangers, New York Mets, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Washington Nationals, and Miami Marlins are all significant supporters of Cholula. If you like baseball and reside in one of those places, you’ll see plenty of Cholula at the ballparks.

The Score

The rich chili pepper profile of Cholula Original Hot Sauce sets the standard for taste in mass-market hot sauces. It’s a delectable blend of smokey, nutty, acidic, and somewhat spicy flavors that’s extremely adaptable.

Overall Taste 5
Temperature Harmony 4
Usability 5
Collectibility 3.5
X-Factor 5

On a scale of 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest) (highest)

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Cholula hot sauce good?

Cholula is a hot sauce that is made from red chiles, garlic, and spices.

How hot is Cholula original hot sauce?

The heat level of Cholula original hot sauce is medium.

Which is hotter Cholula or Tabasco?


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