This post is for anyone who wants to trump even the best bottle of wine at the party. Showing up at the door with a jar of local honey will make an impression. It won't just join the multitude of homogeneous bottles on the table. It will end up in a special place in the kitchen. It's what your host will be eating the next morning while nursing a hangover. It's memorable and you will be too.
"Oh, you remember him. He's the one who brought the honey."
"Yes, of course."
How many times have you agonized over the perfect wine selection to take to your host only to find that it is taken from you and grouped together with cluster of other bottles on a table somewhere? Or worse, have you ever shown up with a fabulous bottle of Cabernet only to find out they don't drink? Or as happened to me, that they don't drink wine in summer.
Honey represents your good taste and your commitment to eating local. There are a myriad of flavors to choose from depending on where the hives are located. Still not good enough? Look for gourmet infused honeys like lavender or thyme. For extra drama and style points bring honeycomb. Lots of people have never tried it and eating it is like an event.
Combining it with other specialty items like tea or gourmet cheese is bound to make an impression on even the most serious foodie. They'll think of you every time they use it to sweeten tea or lemonade.
Get to know your beekeeper at the local farmers market. Chat with them about what the bees are foraging and where the apiary is located. You'll have an instant conversation starter at the party. People may not know as much about honey as they do about wine but they are fascinated by the bees and beekeepers. Everyone knows the bees are having a hard time but they may not have ever had real honey.
Want to sound like an expert? Then read my 31 Day Introduction to Beekeeping.
Want to see the honey process? Then read A Honey Season Start to Finish.
The beekeeper isn't quite as sexy as the vintner. I think it's the bee suit. Okay, it is definitely the suit. But throw around the words apiary and queen bee. An apiary sounds at least as romantic as a vineyard and every hive includes royalty.
Still not convinced that honey can beat out wine as your go-to party gift? Then go for mead. Mead is a fermented honey beer that has been around as long as wine. Again, you'll be the only one bringing it and it will stand out from the pack of wine bottles.