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You handsome devil

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It’s been voted number one in Australia by Good Food Australia and is now available in around 20 retails outlets in the capital.

We’re talkin’ good old fashioned hot sauce—specifically the De Arbol variety by The Handsome Devils Co. Before you decide you can’t take the heat, think twice. The Handsome Devils produces four, small batch hot sauces that are all about full flavour, not about blowing your head off.


And even more special? Although the Handsome Devils had its beginnings in Bronte, it was established by five friends who spend their childhood growing up here in Canberra. They all developed their love of fine hot sauce while travelling the Americas, including Mexico where hot sauce is worshipped up there with the Gods.

There’s no doubt—Canberra being Canberra—that one of the five friends will be a familiar face to many HerCanberra readers.

Ryan Brown is the sauce creator, the dude who is often up to his armpits in smoke habaneros. Ian Nicholas is the business boy; the one who massages the logistics of hot sauce production so it’s a well-oiled machine. Mark Vicol sometimes makes hot sauce but mostly writes great words about the sauces. Stuart Miller is the renowned photographer behind the lens. And then there’s Shannon, the only female on the team and the talented graphics wiz. She hails from the dirty ol’ south of the USA and knows a thing or two about quality hot sauce.

handsomedevils_line up

All Handsome Devils hot sauces are created without preservatives, additives, colours and thickeners. So they’re not only bursting with flavour, they’re guilt-free to eat. “We were inspired to start the company a couple of years ago because we had a hankering for the type we enjoyed when in the US and couldn’t find an equivalent here,” says Ryan. “We’re all about educating people on how versatile these sauces are.”

The De Arbol, also called ‘the red knight’, is more a traditional style, bold flavoured Mexican hot sauce (medium heat), jammed packed with two kinds of chillies, a healthy dose of vinegar, a set of mysterious spices and other secret ingredients. “It makes tacos quiver in their shells,” says Ryan. “It’s basically a corn chip’s friend. Pour liberally over everything, and repeat.”


The sweet and smoky Chipolte (medium heat) blends quality smoke-dried Jalapeno chillies with its own set of mysterious spices. It’s thick-bodied and rich and is perfect for the BBQ. The Savina is the hot number dancing her way through town. The lady who showcases a unique mix of coriander, mango and habanero chili—at first fruity and sweet and then she bites.

Then there’s the Verde (mild heat)—tangy, herby, verdant and freshness in a bottle. This is created with a blend of crisp green tomatoes with a bunch of herbs and spices. “We call it a green devil of a sauce,” says Ryan. “Drizzle over fish, fresh salads, or tacos, or use however you like.”


handsomedevils_sauceAnd back to the #1 ranking De Arbol? How about this great recipe for a Bloody Handsome? In a tall glass, add ice, 30ml rye whisky, 15ml of pickle juice, 15ml De Arbol, salt, pepper and clove. Top off with tomato juice and stir. Add a pickle to garnish.

Ryan says it was great to be back in Canberra recently spruiking the hot sauces to retailers and the pick-up was fabulous. “The capital will always be near and dear to all of us,” he says.

Handsome Devils Co can be bought online or you can pick up any variety (or a pack of four if you prefer) at the growing number of retail outlets in the ACT. Check them out at

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