Hot Honey: The Viral Sauce That You Can Make At Home

Every few years a condiment comes along that takes the world by storm. Think sriracha or miso paste or even aioli, there have been so many excellent dips and sauces that have claimed the limelight in the last decade, and now it’s time to lean into the age of Hot Honey. 

Though it’s been around since the early 2010’s it was attributed to one brand whose owner – Mike Kurtz – claims to have come across it in a pizzeria in Bahia, Brazil. His discovery happened in 2003 while he was studying abroad there, but prior to that, it’s hard to trace when and where it was first used. He brought the recipe back to the US and started developing a recipe of his own. 

The concept is simple enough, chillies…in honey but it took him six years to get the details right and land on the recipe that’s now his signature. In 2010 he went into business with a friend who owned a pizzeria and they began turning heads with pies drizzled with flaming hot sauce. It became an overnight success and soon the world was after their own taste of the unique new flavour. 

Though it started as part of a pizza sauce, Hot Honey has almost unlimited uses. Drizzle it on ice cream or stir it through fried rice, its diversity is part of its charm. The balance of flavours really lends itself well to fried dishes like wings but it can even add a kick to a cocktail. This is a must-have condiment and even though we may not know Mike’s secret recipe, the good news is that you can make your own version at home in no time. 


  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes (or 2 fresh or dried chiles of your choice)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar


  • Add honey and your choice of chile or pepper flakes to a saucepan. 
  • Bring this to a simmer over medium heat, remove from heat and stir in apple cider vinegar. 
  • Cool to room temperature and transfer to a glass container straining out peppers if desired.