Sometimes I’m amazed that I can drink tequila. My parents have had a timeshare in Cabo since I was 13 and I definitely overindulged on Mexico’s favourite spirit once or twice. There was a time in university where the mere scent of cheap tequila on the bar at Liquor Store Party Bar would make me gag. This is what I’ve affectionately termed, “tequila trauma.”
Thankfully, I don’t frequent Liquor Store anymore, am better at resisting peer pressure and have discovered top-shelf tequila. The best I’ve tasted is probably the Clase Azul, which is smooth, warm and fruity. This is a real case of you get what you pay for so you might want to ask for it as a birthday/wedding/divorce/new job gift.
When you read the set of ingredients on this drink you might be thinking, “What is this, a fraternity initiation? Hot sauce and tequila!?” I promise, it’s a hell of a lot better than it sounds and most likely won’t end in your embarrassing yourself in front of group of near strangers (results may vary).
What makes this cocktail so much more complex than hot sauce and tequila is the acidity from the lime juice and sweetness from the honey syrup. The owners of local Bee Savvy Honey generously gifted me a sample set of their classic and infused honeys.
In this recipe, I bypassed the traditional pinch of cayenne by using the Bee Savvy hot pepper infusion honey in place of classic honey in the syrup. The red pepper flakes in the infused honey are like spicy confetti in this drink and keep every sip exciting.
Matthew Ott is the founder of Bee Savvy Honey and is passionate about woodworking, creating custom hives at his workshop in Eganville and tending to his hives in Arnprior, Ontario.
The three honeys I’ve been able to sample are some of the best I’ve had. The hot pepper infusion I’ve used here would work well in a variety of savoury dishes and I’m looking forward to continuing my experimentation in both food and drink.
Honey syrup is even easier to make than traditional simple syrup. You just combine 3 parts honey with 1 part boiling/hot water in a lidded container and shake vigorously to combine. The syrup will keep refrigerated for 5 days.
I hope you find an excuse to make this little tipple when you want a cocktail with kick or are ready to conquer your tequila trauma – face your fears!
- 1 cup Bee Savvy hot pepper infusion honey
- 1/3 cup hot water
- 4 dashes Cholula sauce
- 3/4 oz fresh lime juice
- 3/4 oz honey syrup
- 2 oz. tequila
Make the honey syrup: In a small container, combine the honey and hot water and stir until completely mixed. Use immediately or store and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
In a cocktail shaker, combine the Cholula sauce, lime juice, hot pepper honey syrup, and spirit.
Shake vigorously and strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube. Garnish with a lime wheel.