When making a honey cocktail, the best part may just be the honey. Here are some facts you might not have known about honey:
- It’s the only food that never spoils. The incredibly high sugar content sucks the life out of bacteria. This is another reason why honey is excellent sweetener when you’re sick. It has antimicrobial properties.
- Honey is best stored in dry places, because it has a tendency to suck excess moisture from the air. Too much moisture, and it will ferment.
- Despite its delicious taste and healing properties, honey is not what bears are after when they dive for the hive. Pooh-Bear and his cousins are actually hunting for the protein-rich bee larvae.
- Different plants produce different honey – whether it’s clover, mesquite, sage, or beet – with a variety of textures and flavor notes. Honey has an earthier, fuller flavor profile than cane sugar. And that’s why . . . .
- It’s GREAT in cocktails!
The science on sugar is out; it’s not very good for us. If you’re already making a slight health transgression by imbibing a boozy cocktail, you might as well swap the simple syrup for a richer, tastier substitute: honey. Not to mention it’s a relatively inexpensive way to make your drinks feel fancier, more gourmet, more crafted. Experiment with different types of honey from varying sources. Make sure you use honey that’s been stored well and hasn’t fermented. And remember that because of its strong, distinct flavor, a little goes a long way. Also, because honey’s viscosity and density are so different than water and alcohol, it can be difficult to mix it into cold drinks. Best to create a honey syrup first by dissolving it into warm water. Here are a few great recipes to try out:
Named by flappers in the old days, no honey-cocktail is complete without this classic.
- 1 1/2 oz. gin
- .75 honey syrup
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled glass and garnish with a lemon wheel.
The Snow Honey
As the nights get chillier (even here in Los Angeles!) this hot drink will put you in the holiday spirit.
- 1 tsp of clover honey
- 1 1/2 parts Cognac
- 4 parts hot milk (or half and half)
Combine the ingredients in a warm mug and garnish with grated nutmeg.
Whiskey The Pooh
The punny name alone should be enough to draw anyone in to this simple cocktail from Bar None Drinks:
- 2 oz Scotch Whisky
- ½ oz Sour Mix
- 1 tsp Honey
Mix and serve up.
- 2 oz Brandy
- 1 oz Grapefruit Juice
- .05 oz Honey syrup
Shake over ice, strain, and serve up with a cherry.
If you live in LA, check out Honeycut, a speakeasy-inspired bar by the folks behind Varnish and Seven Grand, offering dozens of vintage gourmet cocktails.
The next time you mix some cocktails, ditch the sugar and open a jar of honey for a sweet and healthy surprise. Make a honey drink for your friends; they’ll think you’re the bee’s knees.