Meet the Maker - AR's Hot Southern Honey

Meet the Maker - AR's Hot Southern Honey


When Ames Russell created the first batch of hot Southern honey in 2015, he drew on the tradition of generations of Appalachian Russell's and his grandfather, also named Ames, who always had a dish of honeycomb on his farm table for guests. This first batch—a mixture of sweet clover and floral wildflower honey with Mexican bird's beak (de árbol) chili peppers—was such a hit with friends and family who received it for Christmas, he eventually left a day job to devote his life to honey. The results have been, well, sweet—and hot!

After just two-plus years, AR's Hot Southern Honeys (original "Hot-Mild" and "Hot-Hot" with habaneros) and raw clover and wildflower honeys, all sourced from Appalachian hives and produced in the south, are flying off the shelves in thirteen states. Chefs love them so much they buy them by the gallon.

Raw, pure Wildflower and Clover honeys, AR’s Hot Southern Honey Original (HOT-MILD) and new (HOT-HOT) - pepper infused honeys, without syrupy additives (high fructose corn syrup), vinegar or tasteless pepper extracts.

Their products are flavorful accompaniments to fried chicken, cheese and crackers, and as glazes on grilled salmon, pork tenderloin or chicken wings. They can also be used in marinades, vinaigrettes or drizzled on yogurt, ice cream and pizza. 

While tradition-loving, He's an entrepreneur and former Rollerblade exec, and anything but hidebound, and it's his latest innovation that has the culinary world all abuzz. Teaming up with Ironclad Distillery, a Newport News maker of small-batch bourbon, AR's Hot Southern Honey just launched the world's first-of-a-kind, Bourbon-Barrel-Aged Hot (Southern) Honey. After three months of aging in Ironclad's bourbon-soaked American white oak barrels, this bold and complex honey pairs two of the South's most beloved tastes—with vanilla, caramel, clove, and black pepper aromatics—in one delicious burst of scintillating Southern heat!

Thank you and enjoy!

Jennifer Baskin
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