What Is Honey Mustard? (Taste, Ingredients + More)

There are tons of mustards that are enjoyed around the world, but you may not know what every variety of mustard is.

You may have heard of honey mustard and wonder what honey mustard is. I checked out the facts, and here is what I discovered!

What Is Honey Mustard?

Honey mustard refers to the combination of mustard and honey, and it is speculated that the pairing was invented because honey can soften the intense flavor of mustard without fully compromising mustard’s taste. Some recipes also add spices or flavors to honey mustard, but honey and mustard are still the main ingredients for honey mustard. 

What makes honey mustard different from regular mustard? Keep reading to find out!

What Is Honey Mustard Made Of?

In its simplest form, honey mustard is any prepared mustard you prefer that is mixed with honey.

Some recipes of honey mustard may involve spices such as black pepper, cayenne pepper, and herbs like dill or rosemary.

Since honey mustard is usually homemade, you can add any spice or added flavor you want.

What Does Honey Mustard Taste Like?

Honey mustard is a tangy, sweet, and creamy sauce that perfectly complements salads and fried food.

Some people describe honey mustard as more sweet than sharp, depending on the ratio of honey to mustard.

Generally, honey mustard is full of flavor, especially with added spices, and is rounded off and balanced by sweetness from the honey.

Additionally, honey mustard’s taste is highly dependent on the brand of honey and the prepared mustard you prefer.

Moreover, the honey mustard’s flavor will also differ if spices are added to the mixture, which can either enhance the sweetness of the honey or the tanginess and kick of the mustard.

What Are Other Alternatives to Honey Mustard?

If you don’t have prepared honey mustard but have honey and mustard, you can mix the two ingredients to make honey mustard, which is often preferred because you can control the taste.

Barbecue sauce may not seem a direct alternative for honey mustard, but barbecue sauce is a great substitute if you do not have honey mustard.

Just like honey mustard, barbecue sauce has a certain sweet flavor because there is always either brown sugar or honey added to barbecue sauce.

Although barbecue sauce can be a substitute for honey mustard, keep in mind that barbecue sauce has a lot more vinegar than a regular honey mustard sauce, so barbecue sauce can be too tangy.

Another great alternative to honey mustard is ketchup. Because ketchup provides the same balance of sweetness and acid as honey mustard.

Acidity from the tomatoes used to make ketchup and the added sweeteners make ketchup have a similar flavor profile as honey mustard.

Who First Used Honey Mustard?

Who First Used Honey Mustard?

In the 4th or 5th century, it is believed that a mixture of honey and mustard was first used by the Romans to baste their roasted boar.

De Re Coquinaria, a Roman cookbook, included a mixture of mustard and honey with additional spices and herbs recorded in its pages.

Honey mustard also showed up in another cookbook, the Arabic Al Andalus Cookbook, which is a cookbook containing instructions to Andalusian recipes.

Since the 20th century, the honey mustard combination has been widely used as a glaze for chicken and pork dishes, as well as dressings for vegetables and herbs.

It is believed that honey mustard has been around since the time of Ancient Egypt, and was passed on until honey mustard was recorded and known.

How Do You Store Honey Mustard?

A jar of unopened honey mustard can last three years when stored in proper conditions, such as a dry and cool area away from direct sunlight and temperature changes.

Once opened, it is best to store honey mustard in the refrigerator to ensure freshness.

A jar of opened honey mustard can last up to one year in the fridge. Ideally, you should keep honey mustard in the back of the fridge to avoid sudden temperature changes.

If you use honey mustard daily, the pantry is also a good place to store honey mustard, keeping the honey mustard in a dark place away from direct sunlight.

How Do You Know If Your Honey Mustard Has Gone Bad?

Over time, honey mustard may lose some quality and freshness.

One way to tell if your honey mustard is not good to consume is if there is a bad smell coming from the honey mustard.

Additionally, honey mustard may be bad if the texture of the honey mustard is not as creamy as it used to be and is a little watery.

A badly kept jar of mustard may also have molds growing inside the jar, so it is better to check the honey mustard before use.

Checking the best-by date on the label of your honey mustard jar can also tell you how long your honey mustard is good for, especially if you buy the ready-made honey mustard.

Take a look at our related articles to find out what whole grain mustard is, what Pommery mustard is, and what English mustard is.


Honey mustard is known for balancing out the tangy kick of the regular mustard with its sweetness.

Moreover, honey mustard is widely used for dressings and vinaigrettes, as honey mustard is a perfect complement to salads and leafy greens along with pork and chicken recipes.

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