Kevin Mackey is so determined to make his hot sauce a success that he’s dedicating the day before his wedding to bottling it.
|Kevin Mackey (left) and his fiancée Mary Ann Mullin (right) with soon-to-be sister-in-law Marcia Zak (middle) and pinwheels with attitude. (Photos: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
But his fiance, Mary Ann Mullin, said she’s happy to help. After all, she is the vice president of their company, Angry Irishman LLC, and the reason Mackey decided to sell Angry Irishman hot sauce in the first place.
Mackey, originally from Oak Harbor, where he and Mullin met in high school, moved with his parents to Florida as a teenager.
Disliking his new home, Mackey grew chili peppers as a distraction and, after a lot of experimenting and many hours researching different types of chili peppers, created what is now known as Angry Irishman Hot Sauce.
“If anyone likes the hot sauce, they have this pretty lady to thank,” Mackey said about Mullin. “When I moved back to Ohio for her, she pushed me into bottling and selling it.”
Mullin has overseen every step of the product’s creation, she said.
“It took several years of trial and error. I tasted every single batch, from a spicy, gritty, sandy paste to jalapeño water,” she said. “It was gross.”
But the thick, habanero and tomato-based hot sauce has since reached greatness, she said, having won third place in Chile Pepper Magazine’s Fiery Food Challenge in 1997.
“There’s more than heat to it. There’s an abundance of flavor,” Mackey said.
|Pinwheels with attitude with a touch of Angry Irishman, a locally brewed hot sauce.
Although he never had the chance to go to culinary school as he intended, Mackey’s confident he’ll get spicy food lovers to replace conventional hot sauce with his own, he said.
“If you like hot sauce, you’re going to love Angry Irishman,” he said. “I’ve had people put it in and on chili, tacos, hamburgers, soups, omelets, gumbos and stews. Like music, it has blended culture lines.”
Mackey and Mullin have even seen their hot sauce used in Bloody Mary recipes to put some “zip on the lip.”
“My favorite part is watching people as they taste it. You see the flavor and then the heat hits seconds later,” she said. “It’s quite interesting to watch their reactions.”
The couple’s need to bottle more Angry Irishman hot sauce was clear when they went from 59 cases to two in less than a month, Mackey said.
“It’s been a lot of work but it’s also been a lot of fun,” Mullin said.
Local vendors carrying Angry Irishman hot sauce include Root’s Poultry in Fremont; Frobose Meat Locker in Pemberville; Novelties and Nostalgia in Woodville; Tank’s Meats, Bench’s Greenhouse and Nursery and Tina’s Country Market and Drive Thru, all in Elmore; and Cheese Haven and McCarthy’s Restaurant and Pub in Port Clinton.
The sauce is also carried at The Celtic Ray Public House in Lexington, Mich., The Celtic Ray Irish Pub in Punta Gorda, Fla., and The Angry Pepper in Monroe, Conn.
The couple hopes to put out more products in the coming years, like rubs, oils, cocktail sauces and different heat levels of their hot sauce.
And for those who wonder what the Irish know about making hot sauce, Mackey has one thing to say: one taste, and you’ll know.
Pinwheels with attitude
5 10-inch flour tortillas
10 slices deli ham
10 slices deli turkey
8 ounces cream cheese
4 tablespoons chopped green onions
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons Angry Irishman hot sauce
Pinch of sea salt
For the cream cheese spread:
Cut the cream cheese into cubes and put into a bowl (can use a stand mixer). Add Angry Irishman hot sauce, green onions, minced garlic, parsley, and sea salt. Blend about three minutes, or until entire mixture is blended together. Spoon the mixture into a sealed container and refrigerate for an hour.
To put the pinwheels together:
Lay flour tortillas on a flat surface. Spread the cream cheese mixture across the entire tortilla. Layer the deli meats on top of each other, covering the entire tortilla. Layer the lettuce on top (enough lettuce to completely cover the deli meat). Roll up each tortilla and use toothpicks to secure the tortilla. Depending on how thick you would like the pinwheels determines how many toothpicks you will need (for example 10 pinwheels/10 toothpicks). Slice up the tortillas and enjoy.