By BROOKE LEISTERNEWS STAFF WRITER
There’s a lot of sauce the members of Aerosmith don’t touch anymore. Hot sauce is not one of them.
At least that’s true for guitarist Joe Perry.
"I’ve been a fan of hot sauce and hot, spicy food for as long as I remember. On the road, I have my sauces with me. It kind of help to have your own stash, " Perry said in a telephone interview.
Since late spring, Perry’s added another sauce to his stash. His own.
In May, he launched Joe Perry’s Rock Your World Boneyard Brew Hot Sauce. Described as an " every day " sauce, ingredients include vinegar, red bell peppers, lime juice, evaporated cane juice, habanero peppers, onions, garlic, chipotle peppers, salt, and xanthan gum. The sauce is made by Ashley Food Co. Inc. based in Dedham.
To celebrate the new product, Jake’s Dixie Roadhouse in Waltham is hosting a hot sauce release party tonight. Perry is not scheduled to attend.
The menu will feature Rock Your World fiery shrimp served with jalapeno and cheddar fried grit cakes and Aerosmith's Get Your Wings hot wings. Additionally, the Moody Street restaurant will also give away a pair of tickets to one of the band’s upcoming shows at the Tweeter Center as well as plenty of bottles of sauce, including one autographed bottle.
Although Perry is a partner at Mount Blue — the Norwell restaurant he owns with four others including bandmate Steven Tyler, the sauce marks the legendary guitarist’s first foray into the world of culinary products.
" I had a couple of his (David Ashley, president of Ashley Foods) sauces on my shelf. I saw that he was a local guy and about four years ago I called him and we started talking, " Perry said. " We had a lot of similar tastes and ideas about where it could go. "
The only problem was time. A busy touring and recording schedule left little time for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee to devote to his sauce.
That changed last winter. After a Japanese tour early in the year, the band spent six weeks in Maui, Hawaii, relaxing and working on new songs. Perry also spent time developing his sauce.
" I found myself mixing different sauces together to find out what was just right for my palate. I didn’t want to use foods with preservatives or flavorings, " Perry said.
While he admits being stricter about his diet a few years ago, he still tries to eat healthily, avoiding foods with preservatives. " I try to eat as healthy as I can and I try to steer my family in that direction, " said the South Shore resident, who is enjoying time at home before embarking on the band’s next tour with Kid Rock and Run D.M.C. The tour kicks off in August.
" We used three or four different sauces as a touch base. Heat is so subjective, and flavor to one person is so subjective. You kind of has to reach a common ground. We used one of his (Ashley’s sauces) as a common ground, " Perry said. " ... I wanted something that was a little more day to day than something that was really hot.
" ... We really wanted to keep the quality high and every aspect of it had to be high. "
For about a month, Perry and Ashley sent packages across the country via Federal Express. Ashley sent samples to Hawaii, which Perry tasted and sent back. " Federal Express from Hawaii takes two days. Everything took a little longer but it also took a little longer to live with each taste, " Perry said.
Of the sauce, Ashley says, " He was in Hawaii and Japan the whole time. We did everything by phone and I laid out the whole business plan. By the middle of February, we were done with the formula. "
While Ashley began making his sauces, including his signature Mad Dog BBQ Sauce in 1985, he did not incorporate his business until 1991. " I started tinkering in the kitchen and Mad Dog BBQ Sauce was born. The original has a nice bite, while the hot is pretty hot for a BBQ sauce. "
Ashley offers a full line of sauces made from fresh, natural ingredients. His Mad Dog Inferno sauce ranked as the " World’s Hottest Hot Sauce " by the Mo Hotta Mo Betta catalog. The recommended dosage is " one scant drop or less. "
From the beginning, Perry wanted to steer his sauce away from Inferno heat levels. " I was thinking that the people who would first buy the sauce weren’t hot freaks, " he said.
Described as having a low to medium heat level, Perry uses the sauce regularly.
" When I’m having eggs for lunch I don’t necessarily want to blow my brains out. I use it more like ketchup. I wanted a good day-to-day sauce, " said Perry, adding he likes it best on hamburgers.
Professing a longtime interest in food and cooking, Perry muses his love of hot and spicy foods that come from his Italian and Portuguese roots. " Both sides are known for their love of spices, " he added.
While he enjoys preparing ribs on the grill, his first food love is preparing spaghetti sauce. " To me it’s no surprise — being Italian and growing up in the kitchen. It would be sacrilegious not to, " he said.
Asked if the other band members gave the sauce their seal of approval, Perry said, " Steven likes spicy food, not really hot. Other than that, the other guys are kind of amateurs. "
Joe Perry’s Rock Your World Boneyard Brew Hot Sauce is available at joeperrysrockyourworld for $7.99. A bottle with a guitar pick is $8.99. The sauce is also available at various stores, including Newbury Comics.