When you combine spicy peppers with honey, you get a tasty treat with endless possibilities! Ames Russell used to mix hot sauce with his honey to put on homemade meals like fried chicken. His wife teased him about his messy concoctions and asked him to find a way to put it together in one simple bottle. He set out to do just that and started by researching a wide variety of honeys and peppers. He found just the right combination in a blend of clover and wildflower honey with the ever-popular de Arbol red chili pepper!
It was a hit at home with his family, as well as relatives and friends who received bottles at Christmas time. When holiday supplies ran out and the pleading continued to roll in, Ames developed AR’s Hot Southern Honey! He had a long career of successful entrepreneurial endeavors in the sporting goods field as well as I.T. work, but he wanted to pursue something that would tap into his current passions and creative side. He put his full focus into his products and now customers are enjoying them across 25+ states!
What makes his hot honey products so irresistible to so many? Ames describes it this way: “Honey has ageless appeal and is a healthier way to sweeten foods. My product has all the trending tastes of spiciness, southern cuisine, and honey.” Ames recalls one of his first promotional events when at the end of the long day, one last visitor remarked that it was the best thing she’d tasted all day. After four years he still maintains his genuine enthusiasm, stating, “I love seeing the unexpected delight on people’s faces when they try my products!”
Recently Ames expanded his product line to include a peach hot sauce, a unique spicy honey peanut butter and a bourbon barrel aged hot-hot honey produced through a partnership with Ironclad Distillery! In response to repeated requests for a honey with even more punch, he began using habanero peppers in his hot-hot honey and has received rave reviews!
He appreciates the farmers market venue and how the community is always excited to sample his products and share their positive feedback and recipe ideas. Customers love to use his versatile hot honey as a glaze on seafood, meats and roasted veggies. They use it in a morning latte and an evening toddy. It doesn’t get much better than drizzling it on warm cornbread and even ice cream! Ames adds, “I guarantee my hot honey will rock your ham biscuit!” The AR’s Hot Southern Honey website is full of recipes for his products including grilled peaches with honey ricotta, slow cooker honey lime ginger pork, grilled honey glazed salmon, and honey lime shrimp tacos!
See why AR’s Hot Southern Honey won the 2019 Richmond Magazine’s Elby Award for “Best Local Product -that local food or beverage the rest of the nation should know about” and why Virginia Living Magazine honored Ames with a “Made in Virginia 2018 Food Award.” Time to spice up your honey, add zing and interest to your meals and drinks, and try out some new products and recipes!