If you are looking to sweeten up a cocktail, sugar isn’t the only answer.
There are tons of different sweetener alternatives that would be exceptional in a cocktail, like honey. The ooey-gooey golden goo adds the perfect flavor and a touch of sweetness to any drink. You should keep it on hand at all times.
Farmer’s markets are often the best place to find locally sourced honey. The nice thing about locally sourced honey is depending on where you live, it can take on a different flavor. Bees feast on the nectar from plants, if you reside in an area that is known for oranges, it can take on a subtle orange flavor.
There are over 300 different types of honey that exist today. They all range in taste, flavor, and color and can have different nutritional benefits. Raw honey is considered to be purer than processed one. Processed honey is heated and bottled in a factory so it can lose vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Let’s talk about the most common forms of honey.
This type of honey comes from numerous species of flowers and blossoms. The taste will vary depending on the season and can be dependent on the flowers that are dominant at the time the nectar is collected.
Manuka honey is collected from the flower of the Tea Tree bush. It has rich antibacterial properties and aids in treating stomach ulcers, sore throats, and indigestion. It varies in taste due to the different sources but it usually has a robust aftertaste that lingers.
This is often from a combination of different sources and tends to be lighter in color and milder in flavor. It has a fresh fruity scent and citrusy taste. It can make a great addition to cocktails like the Negroni
If you are vegan and don’t consume honey, don’t worry. Agave nectar has a similar taste and feel. It makes a great honey alternative to those who still want to try it in cocktails. Honey is like a simple syrup but will have a floral flavor to the cocktail.
When mixing up cocktails, you don’t want to add a squeeze of honey directly into the shaker along with the other ingredients. The ice in the shaker will make the already thick substance, thicker. It won’t incorporate into the rest of the ingredients and you’ll be left with a blob of honey.
There are a few ways to add honey to cocktails. One way is to add the ingredients then using a bar spoon, add the honey by stirring it in until it’s all dissolved off the spoon. Then shake and strain the drink as normal.
Another way is to make a honey syrup for large batch cocktails. Add equal parts of honey and water to a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the honey is completely dissolved. Once it’s fully cool, add to an airtight container and keep refrigerated.
Here are a few of our favorite cocktails that have a honey flavor.
The Bee Sting is a blend of jalapeño grapefruit vodka, orange blossom honey, and garnished with grapefruit. It’s an easy cocktail to make at home and will impress your guests.
This Honey Sour doesn’t contain actual honey but rather a liqueur made from Scotch Whisky and honey. A sweet and spicy drink that will give a taste of honey.
Fill up one of those warm cocktails while you still can. This Castle Hot Toddy is made with a honey liqueur that pairs perfectly with Irish Whiskey.