Worcestershire sauce is a thin, brownish black liquid used to season meats, soups and stews, and in cocktail recipes. Vaguely related to the ancient Roman garum and fish sauce (nuoc mam or nam pla), Worcestershire sauce is a blend of vinegar, sugar, spices, tamarind, chiles and anchovies that is fermented and aged in oak barrels before being filtered and bottled.
Worcestershire sauce was invented in the mid 1830's by two English chemists, John Lea and William Henry Perrins. While the story of the invention of the sauce is vague, stories typically talk of an Indian curry recipe that was recreated using more local ingredients. Lea and Perrins was commercially produced in 1838, and is a top selling brand today.
Worcestershire sauce made in the United States is generally safe for celiacs, as it is made from white vinegar. Most brands are not safe for vegans, though some producers make anchovy-free versions.
Worcestershire sauce is dark brownish-black and opaque. It has a strong topnote of vinegar, then a savory-sweet accord of chiles, citrus, molasses, and baking spices.
Some popular cocktails containing Worcestershire sauce
- Caesar — Vodka, Tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, Salt, Black pepper, Hot sauce
- Bloody Mary — Vodka, Tomato juice, Lemon juice, Horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, Hot sauce, Black pepper, Celery salt, Lemon, Celery stalk
- Hot and Stormy — Reposado Tequila, Ginger beer, Pineapple juice, Lime juice, Agave syrup, Worcestershire sauce, Hot sauce
- Michelada — Beer, Lime juice, Habanero Sauce, Soy sauce, Hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Black pepper
- Krakatoa — Light rum, Dark rum, Simple syrup, Lime juice, Hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce