Hot Honey


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honey drizzle in a glass jar

Hot Honey (Hot Honey Drizzle) is a sweet and spicy sauce for chicken, pizza, roasted vegetables, or cheese. If you like sweet and spicy flavors, you’ll love this versatile 3-ingredient sauce that is inexpensive and easy to make at home.

The first time I ever had this was in Bentonville, Arkansas over a wood-fired spicy salami pizza at Oven & Tap. It was a revelation. Sweet first with a warm spiciness, this sauce is pretty much the perfect vehicle for delivering sweet-and-spicy flavors to any dish.

Over the years, I’ve seen Hot Honey for sale and it always costs a lot for just a small bottle. Wanting to have this as a staple in the fridge, I set out to make my own version, and it was a piece of cake! The whole process takes just a few minutes and can be as mild or spicy as you like. 

Here’s all you need to do it!

pouring honey into a measuring cup


  • Honey – Since the honey will be heated and then spiced, it isn’t necessary or even advisable to seek out a special type of honey. (Save those flavorful local honey varieties for other things.) Any type of honey will work. 
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – This adds a hint of tart flavor that balances out the sweet and spicy. Any type of vinegar will give this balance, but you get a nice subtle flavor from apple cider vinegar. 
  • Red Pepper Flakes – Use these to add the spice. Red pepper flakes can vary a bit in their level of heat, but I found that 1 Tbsp added a noticeable amount of heat without being overpowering. 

adding spices to honey

Adding Spice to Hot Honey

In testing, I found that red pepper flakes add the most “clean” spice without taking away from the natural flavors in the honey. You can also play around with any type of hot sauce. If using hot sauce, there’s no need to strain the honey after heating it. 

The spiciness will mellow as the honey cools. If you taste the honey while still warm, it will taste much spicier than when it has cooled down. Keep in mind that the flavor will also be less concentrated when you add the Hot Honey to food. Long story short, it’s okay if it tastes a bit “too” spicy just after you’ve heated it. 

Ways to Use Hot Honey Drizzle

Serve Hot Honey over:

  • Soft Cheese (brie or goat cheese)
  • Pizza
  • Roasted Chicken or Pork
  • Roasted Vegetables
  • Pasta
  • Bread / Cornbread
  • Salad

Add Hot Honey to:

  • Marinades
  • Vinaigrettes
  • Cheese Boards
  • Softened Butter
  • Cocktails

Want to add flavor to any dish? Try these homemade sauces:

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honey in a small glass jar
4 from 7 votes

Hot Honey

Hot Honey (Hot Honey Drizzle) is a sweet and spicy sauce for chicken, pizza, roasted vegetables, or cheese. If you like sweet and spicy flavors, you’ll love this versatile 3-ingredient sauce that is inexpensive and easy to make at home.
Prep: 1 minute
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 11 minutes
Servings: 10


  • Saucepan
  • Fine Mesh Strainer


  • 1 cup Honey
  • 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Red Pepper Flakes, more or less to taste


  • Combine honey, vinegar, and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. When you start to see small bubbles rising from the bottom of the pan, move pan off heat.
  • Let the honey sit for 10 minutes. (Note: Set the timer for this. The honey needs this amount of time to become infused with the spice, but if it sits for much longer it will thicken and will be difficult to strain.)
  • Pour honey through a fine mesh strainer. (Discard red pepper flakes.)
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.


Red Pepper Flakes - If you’re hesitant about the spice level, start with 2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes and make the recipes as written. Allow it to cool slightly and then taste. If you’d like the honey to be more spicy, you can repeat the process to heat the honey, adding some additional red pepper flakes.


Calories: 105kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 15mg | Potassium: 34mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 237IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $3.00
Calories: 105
Keyword: homemade sauce, honey, hot honey
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

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    1. I store mine in the refrigerator just to preserve it for as long as possible, but that’s probably not strictly necessary. It does thicken up in the fridge, so I bring it to room temp or just warm up for a few seconds in the microwave before using.

    1. Hi friend! So good to see your name pop up here! And me toooo – I’m all about the cheese boards these days!