Tequila Honey Bee Cocktail Recipe

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Tequila Honey Bee Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 16, 2024


The Tequila Honey Bee is a modern cocktail that marries the bold flavors of tequila with the sweet subtlety of honey. It's a favorite among those who appreciate a nuanced drink with a balance of sweet and sour notes, enhanced by the smoky hint of mezcal.

  • Origins: While the exact origins are not well-documented, the cocktail seems to be a product of the craft cocktail movement, where bartenders experiment with traditional ingredients in new ways.
  • Popularity: It has gained popularity in upscale bars and among tequila aficionados.
  • Audience: Ideal for those looking to explore beyond classic tequila cocktails like the Margarita or Paloma.

How Tequila Honey Bee Tastes?

The Tequila Honey Bee offers a harmonious blend of flavors. The añejo tequila provides a rich, oaky base with hints of vanilla, while the cardamom-honey syrup adds a sweet and spicy complexity. The fresh lemon juice cuts through the sweetness with a refreshing zing, and the Angostura bitters contribute a subtle depth with their herbal undertones. The mezcal rinse introduces a smoky layer, making the cocktail a well-rounded and sophisticated experience.

Interesting facts about Tequila Honey Bee

  • The cocktail's use of mezcal for a glass rinse is a technique often used to impart subtle smoky notes without overwhelming the drink.
  • Cardamom is not a typical ingredient in cocktails, making the Tequila Honey Bee's use of cardamom-honey syrup a distinctive feature.
  • Angostura bitters, originally from Venezuela, have become a staple in bars worldwide and add complexity to this cocktail.



Used for giving a smoky touch to the cocktail, just a rinse creates an alluring aroma without overwhelming the drink. Too much, and you're in a smoggy city; too little, and where's the fire?

Mary Mitkina

Añejo or Reposado Tequila

The star of the show, tequila brings an earthy richness. Choosing añejo offers more complexity, reposado keeps it lighter. If omitted, it's like a play without a lead actor—confusing and unfulfilling.

Alex Green

Cardamom-Honey Syrup

This sweet and spicy syrup brings a warm embrace to the bitterness of the bitters and the tang of the lemon. Without it, the cocktail misses out on depth. Imagine a hug without a squeeze, kind of sad, right?

Emma Rose

Fresh Lemon Juice

Brings zing and freshness to the party; skip it, and the cocktail becomes a wallflower. It's the difference between a sun-kissed day and a dreary one—both survivable, but you know which you'd prefer.

Mary Mitkina

Angostura Bitters

A few dashes add a complex bouquet of spices; without it, the cocktail is like a blank canvas waiting for a stroke of genius that never comes.

Alex Green


Chills the drink, mellows the flavors, and keeps everything cool as a cucumber. No ice? Get ready for a warm handshake from a tequila shot instead of a chilled masterpiece.

Emma Rose

Lemon Peel

The garnish expresses oils over the drink, adding a spritz of citrus aroma. Missing it is like missing the last note in a symphony. Sure, the music was great, but you'll always wonder how it should have ended.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Tequila Honey Bee Drink

  1. Rinse the Glass: Swirl 0.25 oz of mezcal around a Collins glass to coat the inside, then discard the excess.
  2. Mix: In a shaker, combine 2 oz. of añejo or reposado tequila, 1 oz. of cardamom-honey syrup, and 0.75 oz. of fresh lemon juice.
  3. Shake: Add ice to the shaker and shake vigorously.
  4. Serve: Strain the mixture into the mezcal-rinsed Collins glass filled with fresh ice.
  5. Finish: Add 2 dashes of Angostura bitters on top and garnish with a lemon peel.

Pro Tips

  • Chill the Glass: Before rinsing with mezcal, chill the Collins glass to keep the cocktail colder for longer.
  • Fresh Ingredients: Always use fresh lemon juice and make the cardamom-honey syrup from scratch for the best flavor.
  • Balance: Adjust the sweetness by adding more or less cardamom-honey syrup according to your taste.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Grilled Seafood: The smoky notes from the mezcal and the bright citrus of the cocktail complement grilled shrimp or fish tacos beautifully.
  • Spicy Dishes: The sweetness of the honey in the cocktail balances spicier foods, such as spicy chicken wings or jalapeño poppers.
  • Cheese Plates: Choose aged cheeses to match the complexity of the añejo tequila, such as aged cheddar or manchego.

Drink Pairings

  • Cold Brew Coffee: With its rich, bold flavors, a cold brew can act as a contrasting palate cleanser.
  • Sparkling Water with Lime: A refreshing, bubbly non-alcoholic option to cleanse the palate between sips of the cocktail.

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What you could change in Tequila Honey Bee

  • Tequila: If añejo or reposado tequila is not available, a high-quality blanco tequila can be used, though the flavor profile will be lighter.
  • Cardamom-Honey Syrup: In a pinch, a simple honey syrup can be used, but the cardamom adds a unique flavor that is worth the effort.
  • Angostura Bitters: While Angostura is classic, other aromatic bitters can be used for a different twist.

Explore all drinks starting with T here

And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Bee's Knees

  • Add Honey: Replace cardamom-honey syrup with regular honey to simplify, and enjoy a classic with a twist.
  • Recipe Change: Simply use honey in place of the syrup. Shake well with other ingredients to ensure it dissolves.
  • Flavor: Removing the cardamom simplifies the drink, creating a more streamlined flavor profile.

The Citrus Sting

  • Add Grapefruit Juice: A splash of grapefruit gives an additional tangy punch.
  • Recipe Change: Include 0.5 oz grapefruit juice in the shaker.
  • Flavor: Expect a sharper, tangier experience that accentuates the tequila's natural flavors.

Spicy Honey Bee

  • Infuse Heat: Spice up the syrup with chili peppers for a fiery kick.
  • Recipe Change: Infuse the cardamom-honey syrup with chili peppers by heating them together, then strain.
  • Flavor: For those who like a little heat with their sweet— it's a throat-warming sensation sure to buzz.

In case you forgot basics how to make Tequila Honey Bee

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Tequila Honey Bee

Can the Tequila Honey Bee cocktail be made in large batches for parties?

Yes, the Tequila Honey Bee can be scaled up to accommodate larger quantities. Mix the tequila, cardamom-honey syrup, and lemon juice in the same proportions in a larger container, and when ready to serve, perform the mezcal rinse for each glass and add bitters and garnish individually.

Is the Tequila Honey Bee suitable for someone who is new to tequila?

Absolutely, the Tequila Honey Bee's balance of sweetness and sour notes with a hint of smoke makes it an approachable option for those who are just beginning to explore tequila-based cocktails.

What are the best snacks to serve with the Tequila Honey Bee?

Besides the food pairings mentioned, consider serving light bar snacks like salted nuts, olives, or crisp tortilla chips, which can complement the cocktail's balance of sweet, spicy, and smoky flavors.

Are there any non-alcoholic alternatives that mimic the taste of the Tequila Honey Bee?

You can create a mocktail version by substituting the tequila with non-alcoholic tequila-flavored syrup and the mezcal with a smoky tea or liquid smoke, adjusting the amounts to taste.

Can I use pre-made bottled lemon juice for the Tequila Honey Bee?

While fresh lemon juice is recommended for the best flavor, bottled lemon juice can be used in a pinch. However, it may not have the same bright, fresh citrus notes of freshly squeezed lemon.

What type of ice is best used for the Tequila Honey Bee?

Clear, large ice cubes are preferred as they melt slower, reducing dilution and keeping the cocktail at an optimal temperature for a longer period.

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