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Mixed drinks with honey


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#1 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 12:14 PM

Honey is an ingredient that can be used as the sweetening agent in cocktails. It's been showing up in a few drinks that I have tried recently, and I thought that I would create a thread to gather some examples.

Honey is fun to experiment with since the flavor profile can be different for various types of honey, from floral and light (orange blossom) to dark and spicy (chestnut honey). It's an easy way to introduce another dimension of flavor to classic cocktails.

Imbibe magazine had an article on honey in cocktails a while back.
Elements: Honey (Imbibe)

Honey can be paired with pretty much every base liquor: gin, bourbon, scotch, rum, and even Calvados...
Honey syrup is usually prepared as a 2:1 solution (2 parts honey for 1 part hot water).

The Bee's Knees (gin, lemon juice, honey syrup) may be one of the most famous examples. It's a simple gin sour with honey syrup.
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The Gold Rush: bourbon, lemon juice, honey syrup. The honey syrup, that could be expected to be overly sweet paired with the bourbon, is actually subtle and highlights the spice in the bourbon.
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The Brown Derby is similar to the Gold Rush above, but with grapefruit instead of lemon juice. It's even more complex flavor-wise.
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Sam Ross' Penicillin uses a honey-ginger syrup as one of its ingredients together with blended scotch, Laphroaig, and lemon juice.

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There is also a Calvados drink called the Orchard Keeper (Calvados, white vermouth, honey syrup). Apples and honey is a very nice combo.

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The Honeysuckle is basically a daiquiri with honey.
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Continuing with rum drinks, honey is a commonly used ingredient in tiki cocktails. Three Dots and a Dash is the first example that comes to mind - it's a really delicious drink with demerara and agricole r(h)ums, allspice dram, falernum, and angostura bitters that is worth checking out.

The Hart of Darkness from Beachbum Berry Remixed pairs honey with passion fruit.

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And last but not least, I just remembered that in Saint Lucia the Ti Punch was frequently made with a touch of local honey and some grated nutmeg, which is such a great idea. The local honey is particulary dark and flavorful.

#2 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 12:21 PM

Would you include the hot, honey-flavoured drinks like toddies, possets, hot punches, etc. in this group, or would you class them separately?

For example, a traditional ginger posset (honey, ginger syrup, lime juice, brandy, hot water, pinch of ground cinnamon) makes sterling use of honey, particularly if you've got a fairly strong-flavoured type like Eucalyptus or Acacia to work with.....
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#3 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 12:35 PM

Would you include the hot, honey-flavoured drinks like toddies, possets, hot punches, etc. in this group, or would you class them separately?

For example, a traditional ginger posset (honey, ginger syrup, lime juice, brandy, hot water, pinch of ground cinnamon) makes sterling use of honey, particularly if you've got a fairly strong-flavoured type like Eucalyptus or Acacia to work with.....


Elizabeth,

I would include all of the above... My list was in no way meant to be exhaustive; it's a reflection of what I am familiar with, with the hope that I can learn from the other eGulleters and try new things.

I had never heard about the posset until you mentioned it, and had to look it up. It sounds delicious. Would you mind posting your recipe?

#4 Chris Hennes

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 12:57 PM

Wow, that's a quite comprehensive listing to start out with! Have you experimented with different honeys at all, or do you stick with the ones that come in the little plastic bear at the grocery store?

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#5 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 12:58 PM

Sure! This is my hands-down favourite drink when I'm chilled or when I feel a sore throat coming on. It normally knocks me flat on my tush if I drink 2-3 of them (and they're tasty so it's not hard to do!) but I wake up feeling very healthy the next day.

Ginger Posset

1/2 oz ginger syrup (I use the panela syrup in which I have candied ginger)
1 oz eucalyptus honey (or similar strong-flavoured honey - delicate honies get lost in the ginger)
the juice of one lime (and if you're feeling like a fancy-pants, a twist)
2 oz brandy
hot water to the top of the mug
pinch of cinnamon as a garnish

As a side note, I always add the spirits last to hot drinks, and then stir to combine, so that they don't lose their kick as quickly. Pouring hot or boiling water over the spirits seems to diminish them (likely because the alcohol is being evaporated off by the initial contact with hot water).

A twist on the ginger posset, using 1/2 oz honey and 1/2 oz blackstrap molasses, and substituting the darkest rum you can find (Jamaican style rum is perfect) for the brandy, turns the drink from a Posset into a Grog. I generally use a cinnamon stick for Grogs, though, since the rum seems to call for a more sustained cinnamon note.

There's also the Canelazo, which is an Ecuadorian hot honey punch.

2 oz cinnamon syrup (or, in a pinch, three big cinnamon sticks, which are boiled in the juice to extract the flavour. The syrup is more convenient.)
2 oz honey (delicate honies work best here, since the spirits are quite neutral)
4 oz hot peach juice (or hot maracuyá juice, as a variation), and at the end pour in
4 oz puntas / white rum / aguardiente reposado / rhum agricole / cachaça (varies according to personal taste) and stir to combine.

This is two people's worth of drinks - Canelazo is mixed in a thermal pitcher and poured as hot shots. It goes to the head extremely quickly, although it doesn't taste all that alcoholic. Peach and maracuyá are the traditional juices used, but I've also had oustanding strawberry Canelazo.


Edited for clarity and grammar. I should really preread these things more closely....

Edited by Panaderia Canadiense, 19 June 2012 - 01:02 PM.

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#6 AAQuesada

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 01:08 PM

I like the 'canchanchara' I don't know too much about the history, but it's caribbean and really yummy!

Here is a sample recipe: http://www.icuban.co...nchanchara.html

#7 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 01:15 PM

Wow, that's a quite comprehensive listing to start out with! Have you experimented with different honeys at all, or do you stick with the ones that come in the little plastic bear at the grocery store?


Chris,

I get my honey from local farms, never from the grocery store, especially given all the recent press about adulterated honey. There is a great variety available in San Diego (including avocado, eucalyptus, sage, orange blossom, etc). Wildflower honey is also great.

I like to collect honeys during my trips and currently have an amazing coastal honey from Australia that has a briny flavor that is very distinctive. I am looking for a good way to use it. Maybe with the right single-malt scotch...

#8 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 01:16 PM

Wow, that's a quite comprehensive listing to start out with! Have you experimented with different honeys at all, or do you stick with the ones that come in the little plastic bear at the grocery store?


OMG, the little plastic bear! I haven't seen those in ages.

For my part, I buy honey directly from the apiculturists and generally I ask what their bees have been eating lately. One produces a very lovely, delicate honey as a result of her bees being the pollinators for citrus and plum orchards; another has her bees in a Eucalyptus forest, another in Acacia scrub, and yet another relies on tropical wildflowers. The honies have very distinct characteristics, both in terms of colour/flavour and crystalization.
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#9 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 02:01 PM

Elizabeth - thank you for the recipes with detailed instructions! I know what drinks I will be making this winter! :smile:

AAQuesada - the Canchanchara looks like the Cuban version of the Honeysuckle shown upthread, with a little more dilution from the crushed ice. According to Difford's, the Canchanchara is "the Cuban forerunner of the Daiquiri, as drunk by Cuban revolutionaries fighting off the Spanish at the end of the nineteenth century". Some recipes seem to call for lemon instead of lime, but this may be a translation error.
If only I could get my hands on some Cuban rum...

#10 AAQuesada

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 02:16 PM

Personally don't think Havana club is all that. I like Flor de Cana from Nicaragua I have their 4yo extra dry and 18 year. :)

#11 janeer

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 06:21 PM

As mentioned on my blog a few weeks ago, on my recent trip to Rio my host made her "famous" ginger-honey caipirinha. It was very good, smoother and softer than other caipirinhas I've had in that great city.

#12 haresfur

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 02:02 AM

Sure! This is my hands-down favourite drink when I'm chilled or when I feel a sore throat coming on. It normally knocks me flat on my tush if I drink 2-3 of them (and they're tasty so it's not hard to do!) but I wake up feeling very healthy the next day.

Ginger Posset

1/2 oz ginger syrup (I use the panela syrup in which I have candied ginger)
1 oz eucalyptus honey (or similar strong-flavoured honey - delicate honies get lost in the ginger)
the juice of one lime (and if you're feeling like a fancy-pants, a twist)
2 oz brandy
hot water to the top of the mug
pinch of cinnamon as a garnish

Thanks for this, since it's warm-drink season here and I have some limes that need to be used up. I substituted Stones Ginger wine for the syrup and bumped the volume up to an oz. I used 6 oz water and found a splash more brandy didn't hurt. The honey was "Cup gum" but stringy bark eucalyptus might have been a bit stronger. Overall a winner until limes get too expensive.

Oh, and my honey came in a plastic koala. :smile:

ETA: I'm surprised you call this posset, since I thought posset had curdled milk in it. :unsure:

Edited by haresfur, 20 June 2012 - 02:04 AM.

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#13 sbumgarner

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 05:26 AM

Alex Day's Jalisco Trail from the now-closed Allen and Delancey was a great honey cocktail, never got the recipe but this is what I approximated after having it at the restaurant.

2 blanco tequila
.75 lime
.5 acacia honey syrup
dash or two of Angostura

Shake, strain into a coupe rinsed with Luxardo Bitter (or Campari, which is what I used). Even if this wasn't the exact recipe it is pretty tasty.

#14 rod rock

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 05:35 AM

As mentioned on my blog a few weeks ago, on my recent trip to Rio my host made her "famous" ginger-honey caipirinha. It was very good, smoother and softer than other caipirinhas I've had in that great city.


I was searching your blog for ginger-honey caipirinha hoping there is recipe. But i could not find it :/ . Is there any way to send me by the private message?

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#15 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 05:56 AM

ETA: I'm surprised you call this posset, since I thought posset had curdled milk in it. :unsure:


When I learned hot drinks, I was taught that the difference between a posset and a toddie was that the posset was sweetened with honey, and the toddie with sugar. I may of course have been using incorrect terms all the way through, but I think of the hot curdled milk drink simply as a nightcap.
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#16 therippa

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 03:58 PM

I recently had a chamomile old-fashioned at Two Sisters Bar & Books in San Francisco. It was like a normal old fashioned, but with chamomile added and they substituted the sugar for honey. It was delicious.

#17 janeer

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 07:29 PM


As mentioned on my blog a few weeks ago, on my recent trip to Rio my host made her "famous" ginger-honey caipirinha. It was very good, smoother and softer than other caipirinhas I've had in that great city.


I was searching your blog for ginger-honey caipirinha hoping there is recipe. But i could not find it :/ . Is there any way to send me by the private message?

I will email Sonia and ask her for the recipe; I didn't get it at the time, or even a photo somehow (we were busy drinking). Will be back on this.

#18 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 11:45 AM

A twist on the Bee's Knees with lemon and orange juice from Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, the Bebbo Cocktail.

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I used a blood orange because that's all I had. I used honey syrup instead of neat honey and adjusted the amount accordingly.

Very pretty and refreshing cocktail. As explained in the book, this cocktail has a silly name but it may be even better than the Bee's Knees. I usually don't care much for orange juice in cocktails, but this one is a keeper.

#19 TheStarvingArtist

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 06:24 PM

I've got a cocktail on my bar's menu right now that's a manhattan of sage-infused rye, honey, and amontillado sherry. It's pretty solid.
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#20 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 12:18 PM

I've got a cocktail on my bar's menu right now that's a manhattan of sage-infused rye, honey, and amontillado sherry. It's pretty solid.


That sounds good. What rye do you use for your infusion?

I have a half-full bottle of [French, reasonably-priced, purchased at Trader Joe's] Champagne that I decided to use for my cocktail experiments. In the process I found a new favorite.
The Airmail is a honey daiquiri (see the Honeysuckle upthread) topped with Champagne. The ingredients are white rum, lime juice, honey syrup, Champagne. The recipes in both the Bartender's Choice app and the PDT cocktail book called for white rum; however there are also a lot of variants using aged rum. I love daiquiris so I wanted to try this. I used Flor de Caña white.

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The cocktail fizzed a lot when I added the Champagne but the layer of foam disappeared almost immediately and that's what you see at the top of the glass (not the most aesthetically pleasing).
Regarding the taste, it is wonderful. It has a ton of flavor and some peach undertones, without being sweet. So much more interesting than the typical "Champagne cocktail".
I can't wait to make it again.

#21 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 12:46 PM

I just found a video of Jim Meehan making an Airmail. He uses Banks rum and a 1:1 honey syrup.

Lately I've been using a 3:1 honey: hot water ratio for the syrup, which is the recipe from the Bartender's Choice app.

#22 bostonapothecary

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 04:27 PM

I just found a video of Jim Meehan making an Airmail. He uses Banks rum and a 1:1 honey syrup.

Lately I've been using a 3:1 honey: hot water ratio for the syrup, which is the recipe from the Bartender's Choice app.


i always make my honey syrups 1:1. i even use vodka instead of water to bring the alcohol content to the minimum of preservation. i end up using a lot of pricey boutique single varietal honeys and its nice to have them not spoil if they sit around for a while.
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#23 janeer

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 06:27 PM



As mentioned on my blog a few weeks ago, on my recent trip to Rio my host made her "famous" ginger-honey caipirinha. It was very good, smoother and softer than other caipirinhas I've had in that great city.


I was searching your blog for ginger-honey caipirinha hoping there is recipe. But i could not find it :/ . Is there any way to send me by the private message?

I will email Sonia and ask her for the recipe; I didn't get it at the time, or even a photo somehow (we were busy drinking). Will be back on this.

Heard from Sonia and, in true Brazilian fashion, it's more of an approach than a recipe (no measurements). I will fool with it to get it a little more precise then post.

#24 EvergreenDan

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 06:59 AM

honey syrups 1:1.use vodka instead of water ... preservation.


I'm having one of those "I can't believe I didn't think of that" moments. Thanks. That tip went right into the Honey Syrup article on KC.

Edited by EvergreenDan, 27 June 2012 - 07:04 AM.

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#25 bostonapothecary

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 08:36 AM

honey syrups 1:1.use vodka instead of water ... preservation.


I'm having one of those "I can't believe I didn't think of that" moments. Thanks. That tip went right into the Honey Syrup article on KC.


its super easy and has allowed me to keep lots of different types around. i detailed the process in a blog post long ago.

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#26 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 06:47 PM

Continuing with Daiquiri variations, there is also the Bumble Bee with aged rum, lime juice, honey syrup, and egg white.


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Very smooth and pleasant. It would be fun to try it again with a different rum; I am thinking Smith & Cross for example.

As a side note, it looks like I may be missing an orange peel and Angostura garnish there. I am not sure if it is intentional or not, but the version in the Bartender's Choice app that I was using did not have it.

#27 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 09:00 PM

The Brooklynite: Jamaican rum, lime juice, honey syrup, angostura bitters. Similar to the Captain's Blood but with honey syrup instead of simple.


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It feels a little lighter than the Captain's Blood, with a slight fruit flavor from the honey.

#28 judiu

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 12:58 PM

Does anyone remember Roz Russell in Auntie Mame, with Jim Backus as the jumped up potential
FIL? He "always put honey in my dacquiris!" and the "cool kids" mocked him about it. How "cool"has changed!
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#29 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 12:18 PM

Last week I tried the Bee Sting, a simple Bee's Knee variation with reposado tequila and a muddled jalapeño slice, lemon juice and honey syrup.

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Straighforward but hits the mark. It's fresh with a touch of heat.

#30 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 10:27 AM

Last night we had The Business (Sasha Petraske), the lime version of the Bee's Knees. Tart and refreshing.

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