Honey Trap


Smoky, sweet, tart, and pleasantly warming, the Honey Trap is the perfect autumnal cocktail for a tequila lover.

Honey Trap Cocktail
Photo: Guillermo Riveros

Ginger juice and honey come together with tart lemon and Mijenta Reposado tequila in this warming cocktail developed by veteran bartender Julio Xoxocotla of Bar Lula in New York City. Xoxocotla leans on the power of smoky notes, using Reposado tequila that has been aged in oak for many months to impart both warm caramel and vanilla flavors. A light rinse with mezcal in the glass before pouring in the cocktail makes for a pleasant double dose of smoke, which perfumes the glass without altering the flavor of the cocktail.

A key step to this cocktail is making the honey syrup. While it may seem like a complicated process, all you need to do is combine one part honey with one part hot water and stir until the honey totally dissolves into the water. Unlike simple syrup, which leans on white sugar, honey syrup has a rich flavor and can be customized using different types of honey. Play around with local varieties, or even lightly flavored honey to alter the taste of your syrup. In the Honey Trap, the syrup provides sweetness which balances the spicy ginger juice and tart lemon. It also adds a rich mouthfeel that rounds out the drink. You can make a bigger batch of the honey syrup and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three weeks — it is an incredibly versatile ingredient to have on hand, use honey syrup to sweeten tea or coffee, to drizzle over fruit, or even add to oatmeal.

Perhaps the best part about this drink? The salty and spicy rim. Xoxocotla combines salt, turmeric, and bee pollen which brings a big hit of savory flavor as you sip. The bee pollen plays off one of the drinks key ingredients, where the drink gets its name: honey. While the bee pollen gives the rim a gorgeous, textured finish, it also adds a floral sweetness, and a bit of bitterness. The combination of spicy, earthy turmeric and bee pollen makes the rim of this glass totally unique and memorable. Make this gorgeous cocktail at home or visit Bar Lula in New York City to get one from the source.


  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounces) bee pollen

  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounces) Kosher salt

  • 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) Mijenta Reposado Tequila

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (3/4 ounces) honey syrup

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (3/4 ounces) lemon juice

  • 1/2 tablespoon (1/4 ounces) ginger juice

  • 1/2 tablespoon (1/4 ounces) Mezcal


  1. Make bee pollen salt. Combine bee pollen, salt, and turmeric. Mix well to remove clumps.

  2. Rim a rocks glass with the bee pollen salt, using honey. Rinse glass with mezcal, then pour out the contents. Combine Reposado tequila, honey, lemon juice, and ginger juice in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into the rocks glass over fresh ice. Enjoy immediately.

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