AR’s Hot Southern Honey
When Ames Russell garnished his fried chicken with honey and hot sauce, his wife suggested he mix the two together in a squeeze bottle to stay neater. Russell experimented with the blends, coming up with a punchy but sweet honey that the whole family started drizzling on pizza, tacos, avocado toast, and more.
In 2015, Russell made a batch to give as Christmas gifts. “In about March, people started calling me asking where they could get more,” Russell says. “That’s when I decided I had to figure this out.”
The Bourbon Barrel Aged Hot (Southern) Honey was born when Owen King of Ironclad Distillery in Newport News called Russell out of the blue. “He introduced himself, and I immediately said “Yes, let’s do this”! Russell says. “He said, ‘You don’t even know why I am calling!’ I did though.”
The honey mellows for 90 days in Ironclad’s used bourbon barrels. Ironclad then drains the barrels and fills them with whiskey. The distillery will offer a limited release of a hot honey bourbon this fall.