Last year, Hornitos Tequila unveiled the very lime-driven Lime Shot liqueur. This year the label, a division of Sauza Tequila Import Company jumps into the spicy-sweet fray with Hornitos Spiced Honey Liqueur.
The new liqueur features the brand’s 100% agave Plata tequila as its base. It’s then blended with “natural honey flavor” and a “special spice” blend.
Since Fireball blasted into the public consciousness a few years back, there’s been a wave of sweet-and-spicy spirit-based liqueurs hitting the market. Primarily it’s been American whiskey, like the new Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire and Wild Turkey Honey Sting. But everything from vodka (Svedka Grapefruit Jalapeño) to Chinese baijiu (ByeJoe Dragon Fire) boasts a spicy shooter/mixer, so why not tequila?
On the nose, the dominant notes are still tequila: Agave, tropical fruit. But the aromatics are actually fairly mellowed, perhaps due to the lower proof and the addition of the flavorings. Mild spice notes, and the slightly sensual honey notes also tickle the nose.
On the mouth it is viscous and sweet, with the sweet notes directly up front. It’s difficult to determine if the sweetness is honey-flavored or just…”sweet.” But there’s a lot of it. By the mid-palate a peppery warm spiciness hits, and the product actually finished clean and citrus/spicy, though with a slightly medicinal/chemical note at the very end. The liqueur trends more sweet than spicy, and the spices included are more pepper-cinnamon than chili pepper hot.
In the end, it’s a fairly pleasant drink chilled and consumed as a shot. But the folks at Hornitos are hoping you’ll also consider it served up in a cocktail. To that end, they’ve created the Honey Tea Cooler (recipe below). The result is a clean, surprisingly refreshing cocktail (use fresh lemon juice and lightly brewed black tea for best results). Though I was initially skeptical that additional sweetener (in the form of agave nectar) needed, the overall balance is good. I might even recommend adding a 1/2 oz of apple juice or fresh cider to add a little clean astringency and freshness.
Summer just got a whole lot sweeter.
Honey Tea Cooler
(from Hornitos Tequila)
- 2 oz Hornitos Spiced Honey liqueur
- 4 oz Fresh Black Tea
- 1/2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1/2 Agave Nectar
- Lemon Wheel for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients (except lemon wheel). Add ice, shake well and strain into a pint glass or mason jar filled with fresh ice. Garnish with lemon wheel. Optional: Add 1/2 oz fresh Apple Cider.
Hornitos Spiced Honey has an ABV of 35%, and a suggested retail price of $20. Please drink responsibly.
Thirsty for more? Check out National Spirits Examiner or NY Drinks Examiner.
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FTC Disclaimer: The author sometimes receives product samples for review, which carry no cash value and cannot be re-sold, and sometimes attends press events such as lunches or cocktail parties, designed to promote a given product. The author is not paid by any alcohol manufacturer, retailer or distributor, or provided compensation apart from revenue from an assigning publishing company for editorial publication. Opinions are the author’s own. By the way, you should be 21 or older to read this page. Author received a sample bottle of Hornitos Spiced Honey liqueur for review, along with bottles of iced tea, lemon juice, agave nectar and Chex-style party mix. The party mix did not go into the cocktail…