Honey is far from a one-dimensional ingredient — there are hundreds of flavors and textures of honey to choose from. That’s because its taste all depends on the source of the nectar and species of flower that the bees drink from. The differences are sophisticated and filled with nuance, not unlike wine. This gift from the bees also happens to be a superfood — it’s rich in antioxidants.
Honey isn’t just a naturally delicious sweetener that you drizzle on everything from tea to toast — it’s essential to the survival of the human race. Even if you dread them buzzing around your face, we wouldn’t exist without bees or the honey they produce. Bees are responsible for more foods than just honey. Through pollinating fruits, nuts, and other ingredients, they keep our global food supply going. Without this essential member of the ecosystem, both these crops and the human race would no longer exist. Unfortunately, due to climate change, the bee population is dwindling. To do your part, you can plant pesticide-free flowers in local gardens and your backyard.
When buying honey, search only for unprocessed options without any preservatives or additives. While these kinds of honey may crystallize more easily, they’re much better for you. Plus, you can easily bring your honey back to life by running warm water over the bottle before pouring the honey.
Whether you’re topping up an appetizer spread, engineering the ultimate salad dressing, or baking it into a dessert, these are the best types of honey that will have your taste buds thanking you.
1. Nature Nate’s 100% Pure, Raw & Unfiltered Honey
For a pure and unfiltered raw honey with an award-winning flavor, look no further than Nature Nate’s. Nate’s honey compliments tea and other food and drinks without overwhelming them and it can also be eaten on its own in a spoonful.
2. Bee Harmony Brazilian American Raw Clover Honey
Bee Harmony sells several flavors of honey, but none quite compare to the natural flavor of clover honey. Bee Harmony sources their honey responsibly and packages it in a reusable glass jar. On your first taste, you’ll experience a decadently smooth and silky texture with a balanced flavor. On its own, it has a pure and clean flavor that’s not too overpowering.
3. Savannah Bee Company Raw Lavender Honey
You’re not a true foodie until you’ve tried lavender-infused honey. This complex creation works well with many types of sweet and savory foods and is a fast way to impress guests at a dinner party. Its beautiful bottle also makes it a thoughtful gift. The wild lavender is sourced from mountains in Southern Spain, giving way to a subtly fruity and floral flavor profile. Substitute it for sugar in your drinks or baking recipes to add a delicious nuance.
4. B.Powered Superfood Honey by Beekeeper’s Naturals
BEST FOR IMMUNITY SUPPORT
Adding honey to warm drinks is a great way to soothe a sore throat and common cold ailments. Honey may also provide some everyday immunity support. B.Powered Superfood Honey by Beekeeper’s Naturals is focused on providing customers with great taste and all the health benefits of the hive. The medicinal-grade honey is packed with antioxidants. SPY received a sample of the B.Powered Superfood Honey and we liked the smooth taste that paired well with tea, toast, and on top of baked goods.
5. Bushwick Kitchen Salted Honey
BEST FOR SAVORY FOOD LOVERS
Sweet and savory lovers will go crazy over this versatile salted honey from Bushwick Kitchen, which blends naturally fragrant wildflower honey with a gentle touch of sea salt brine — think sea salted chocolate, but way better. Try it in a bowl of oatmeal, spread on sourdough with butter, or as a replacement for a jam in a PB&J.
6. Mike’s Hot Honey
BEST SPICY PICK
Mike’s Hot Honey has earned a cult-like fanbase thanks to its tasty formula with chilies and vinegar that has just the right amount of kick. Some people drizzle it on their pizza, while others find that it pairs well with wings or even cocktails. Contrary to what many people think before trying Mike’s, the spice doesn’t overwhelm your dish. In fact, you can use it in pretty much anything that you would normally use honey in. The brand does offer extra hot honey as well if your spice tolerance is higher.
7. Smiley Honey Raw Tupelo Honey
Tupelo is one of the rarest kinds of honey in the world since it’s only produced in Okeefenokee Wildlife Refuge on the Georgia-Florida line and the Apalachicola River basin. Its flavor is a delicate balance of sweet, buttery, and florals. Tulepo Honey has a higher price point because of its rarity, but it’s worth the money for the smooth and sweet finish of this delightful treat.
8. Thomas Hübbe and Larissa Leitner Brazilian Honey Sampler
Can’t decide what honey you want to go with? This exotic Brazilian sampler lets you experiment with four distinctly different floral aromas and flavors including acacia, pink pepper, quince and wildflower. Brazilian bees get to drink up the country’s most potent nectar from rainforests and beyond, resulting in a top-notch tasting experience that ranges from notes of marshmallows to tropical fruit influences. Don’t worry about the jars tasting too similar — each honey maintains its own unique flavor.
9. The Couplet by Brightland
California-based Brightland is known for its high-quality olive oils and now they’ve expanded into the honey market. The Couplet includes a jar of California Orange Blossom, which has a clean, citrus finish, and a jar of Kauai Wildflower Honey, a darker honey that uses hibiscus, guava, and passion flowers to create a molasses-type honey. The pure raw, unfiltered honey goes with everything from fruit to cheese, root vegetables, yogurt and pancakes.
10. Kiva Raw Manuka Honey
BEST MEDICINAL PICK
While regular honey has plenty of healing properties, Manuka honey is thought to have even more fantastic health benefits. Kiva’s Manuka honey comes from the pristine forest of New Zealand. While it’s not the most affordable honey on this list, it’s a top-grade investment in quality over quantity.
11. The Honey Jar Variety Pack Raw Honey Sticks
BEST FOR TRAVEL
Take flavor with you wherever you go with The Honey Jar Variety Pack Raw Honey Sticks. The individually wrapped sticks can be popped open, meaning no scissors are needed for this on-the-go treat. The Honey Jar sells its BPA-free sticks in several flavors and customers can try them all with this variety pack that includes watermelon, peach, green apple, blackberry, and vanilla. Made without any added sugar or coloring, the natural honey is sourced and made in Utah.
12. Red Clay Hot Honey with Honeycomb
PAIRS WELL WITH COCKTAILS
For another hot and sweet honey option that should definitely be on your radar, we like Red Clay Hot Honey with Honeycomb. Made from 100% pure raw honey, the delicious mixture also includes apple cider vinegar and fermented habanero pepper that adds a surprising kick. A piece of honeycomb is included in each jar to provide texture and the spicy mix goes well with cheese, marinades, and even in cocktails.
13. Greek Raw Honey by Ancient Foods
MOST UNIQUE FLAVOR
For a twist on your typical honey flavors, try the delightful duo of Greek Raw Honey by Ancient Foods. Both jars feature honey that comes from beekeepers who have been in business in Greece for several generations. The Irini includes thyme flower and has a sweet flavor that is great for tea, toast, and baked goods. The Ilia is made with wild thyme for a more earthy and bold flavor that honey lovers will appreciate.