Papa Al’s Hot Sauce – It’s back!!!

Back in December 2018, I wrote a post bemoaning the discontinuation of Papa Al’s Hot Sauce, which had been locally-made here in Rochester, New York. See that post here. Boy, I loved Papa Al’s sauce and enjoyed it for forty-years. I’ve periodically thought about the sauce, wishing I could once again drive over to Southtown Beverages in Henrietta, New York to pick up a couple of bottles as I used to, but that ship had sailed for good. Or had it?

A few weeks ago, a fellow-blogger came across my post and inquired if I had ever tried to reproduce the sauce and asked for my recipe. Well, that got the old brain neurons firing. Referencing the list of ingredients from my last bottle of Papa Al’s sauce – ketchup, cayenne pepper sauce, water, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, salt, black pepper, and celery powder – I attempted to recreate the sauce by guessing on the ingredient proportions. The initial result? Hmm. Not bad. But there was touch of sweetness present that the original sauce did not have. I assumed that the sweetness came from the regular ketchup. The next day, I went to the grocery and bought a bottle of Heinz low-sugar ketchup. With this second attempt, I also simmered the sauce for one hour to blend the flavors as per our youngest son’s suggestion. He’s also a Papa Al’s Hot Sauce connoisseur and aficionado and we texted back and forth throughout this re-creation experiment. I put the new batch in the fridge overnight for it to “rest,” and sampled it in the morning. Pretty good. I judged the flavor to be around 85% authentic in comparison to the original. I then tinkered with some of the other ingredients (less vinegar, more celery salt) and the flavor of the third batch was in the proximity of 95% of that of the original. Excellent!!! Without any further ado, I present…

Papa Al’s Hot Sauce Recipe


  • 1/2 cup low-sugar or non-sugar ketchup
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce (cayenne pepper sauce)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. vinegar
  • 1 tsp. celery salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Use a whisk to thoroughly dissolve ketchup. Heat on warm for one hour, stirring occasionally. Do not boil. Put in sealed container and cool overnight. VoilΓ ! An extremely close facsimile of Papa Al’s Hot Sauce. Enjoy!

⚠️ WARNING: This Papa Al’s Hot Sauce facsimile has a good degree of spiciness and heat. Keep out of the reach of children, pets, and those with delicate palates.

42 thoughts on “Papa Al’s Hot Sauce – It’s back!!!

  1. Wow, this reminds me of my brief time making fiery scotch bonnet sauce. God made hot sauce to wake up our mouth and liven up every other flavor!
    Love it even in the morn on english muffin with avocado and tomato, πŸ˜‹.
    Thanks for Papa Al’s recipe. May your day be spicey and lively!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Lisa Beth. The scotch bonnet sauce sounds good! I like to put some Papa Al’s on my breakfast eggs and sausage links despite my stomach’s protests. Thanks and have a spicy and lively day in the Lord, too!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds good, Mandy! I have a fresh jar of Don’s Original meat hot sauce in the cupboard waiting to be opened once my current jonesing for Papa Al’s Hot Sauce tails off.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Mandy! Yup, we received the package from Amazon! I know I’m going to REALLY enjoy the book and have bumped it to the head of my reading queue. We were surprised by the addition of the balsam & cedar Yankee Candle! So nice! Corinne really loved it and me too! What a pleasant aroma. It was so kind and gracious of you to send the book AND the candle. Much thanks to you and Nathan!!!
        Okay, so we would like to send you guys a Christmas gift from the Finger Lakes. How about a grape pie from Naples, New York’s grape pie capital? I have a different bakery in mind than the one I posted about.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I think I developed a taste for hot condiments when I was a kid by copying my father’s habit of putting horseradish on his kielbasa Polish sausage.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yup, our youngest son picked up my fondness for hot sauces. In contrast, our oldest son doesn’t care for spicy food or hot sauces at all. He sweats profusely if he eats anything hot.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Alphonse β€œPapa Al” Alaimo, owner of Al’s Meadows Lounge and Grill, created this sauce for his fried chicken wings. When I made chicken wings at home, I used Papa Al’s Hot Sauce for that but also as a condiment for hot dogs and any kind of cooked chicken. Good also on eggs.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Crissy! Funny story…our son was initially VERY excited about recreating the sauce. After my second batch, which was pretty decent, I texted the ingredients and measurements to him. He went out and bought plenty of ingredients because he intended to make a gallon. Well, not having much experience in the kitchen, he misinterpreted my tsp./teaspoon for tbsp./tablespoon and ruined his large batch by over-spicing it. That took the wind out of his sails and he completely lost his enthusiasm for the experiment. Too bad because the final recipe change is solid. In fact, I’m currently brewing a 2-cup batch on the stove as I type this.

        Liked by 1 person

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