Sunday, November 27, 2016

Recipe for a Tipsy Honeybee Cocktail

jim beam

I'm always looking around for ways to use honey and one of the classics is to mix it with bourbon and lemon. Even your teetotalling gramdmother likely mixed up the classic hot toddy when someone around the house was under the weather.

So on Thanksgiving Day last year when I wasn't exactly interested in bourbon for the medicinal value I thought I'd whip up something new. My entire Thanksgiving this year was a fly by the seat of my pants affair that involved very little planning and a lot of making it up as I went along. This is what happens when you aren't trying to impress anyone.

By the way if you ever are tying to impress someone throw a can of lump crab meat and a small can of diced jalapenos in your mac and cheese along with a healthy dose of the cheese of your choice. You'll look like a genius. I can already see that this will be a go-to dish from this day forward.

Where was I? Oh yes. The booze. I had some simple syrup I'd purchased last year and hadn't used. It found its way to the back of the pantry where it had the nerve to grow something icky in the bottom of the bottle. Which led me to searching online for how to make a simple syrup. You know how it goes...I ended up finding 7,280,000 results and about half of them were infused with something. Anything really. Herbs, flowers, spices, more alcohol. You get the picture.

jim beam bourbon

This time of year there are a few herbs still going strong like sage, thyme, and rosemary in the garden. But what flavor of cocktail do you think would be perfectly paired with turkey?

Yep. Sage. So I mixed water and sugar and boiled it together then added the sage and let it cook for a while. Did you want exact measurements and times?

You're new here, aren't you?

jim beam bourbon

Okay, since you asked:

2 parts sugar to one part water. Make whatever amount you want.

Bring water to a boil and add sugar slowly stirring until sugar is dissolved. Don't boil too long just until sugar is dissolved. Add a tablespoon or so of vodka to prolong shelf life but if you are using it immediately like I did there's no need. Add whatever you want in the way of flavor or nothing at all. If you have added something to make an infusion, strain it out. Let cool. Store any leftovers in the fridge.

raw honeycomb in a jar

Some recipes called for cooking the honey (if you are using it) with the sugar, water, and herbs. As a beekeeper I just don't like heating the honey. My rule of thumb is that if you can avoid it never heat your honey. It destroys some of the magical properties. (I assume you are not here for the science.) Add the honey at the last possible moment when things have cooled down. Then pour the bourbon and (no longer simple) syrup over ice straining out any bits of herbs or beeswax.


Isn't that a great word?


I like that world too. 

Make up a fun name for your concoction.

Now, seriously, concoction is a really fabulous word.

bourbon and honey

This is a first cousin to an Old Fashioned or a Mint Julep. The differences are slight but mighty.

I'll be making this again soon with lavender! I'll let you know how that turns out. Meanwhile my dinner guests raved about the unique flavor of this drink. Don't be afraid to try something new if you want a signature cocktail for a gathering you are throwing together.

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