Cooking With Honey – Blueberry Lavender Martinis

Lavender-Martini-300x225

I was in Chicago this past weekend and had dinner at the delightful French Bistro Aquitaine. We began with two of their lovely specialty cocktails — I had the Blueberry Lavender Martini made with honey. It was fabulous!

Here is my recreation…

Yield:  2 martinis

Ingredients:

6 large ice cubes

8 oz vodka

3 oz fresh lemon juice

4 Tbsp honey lavender syrup*

12 fresh blueberries, muddled

Directions:

In a martini shaker add the ice, vodka, lemon juice, honey lavender syrup, and muddled blueberries and place top on shaker. Shake until well blended. Pour the drink into the glasses through a strainer, and serve!

*Honey Lavender Syrup:

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup honey

2 Tbsp dried lavender

Heat water until boiling, remove from heat and whisk in honey and lavender, until honey is dissolved. Chill well before using in drinks.

Cooking With Honey – Blackberry, Mint And Honey Gin And Tonics

CinnamonBasilBlackberryGinDuo

The history of the Gin and Tonic is a fascinating one, intertwined with medicine and the expansion of the British Empire.

Let’s start with the gin. Although it is commonly known as the quintessential English spirit, it was developed by Sylvius de Bouve, a sixteenth-century Dutch physician. He created a highly-alcoholic medicinal concoction called Jenever, featuring the essential oils of juniper berries, which the physician believed could improve circulation and cure other ailments. The juniper berry had long been treasured for its medicinal properties, including its use during the plague.

Tonic water also started out as medicine.

A key component of tonic water is quinine, an anti-malarial alkaloid from the bark of the cinchona tree. Europeans first realized the value of the plant in fighting malaria during the seventeenth century, after the Spanish had conquered parts of South America. They began to call ground cinchona bark “Countess’ powder,” “Jesuit’s powder,” or simply the “fever tree.”

Adding gin to tonic water originated in India during the nineteenth century. In 1825, British officers began to mix gin with their daily ration of quinine tonic. The growing number of Brits residing in India by the late 1850s helps explain the increased demand for quinine and the rise in popularity of the gin and tonic.

No matter what its origins, the Gin and Tonic remains one of our favorite hot weather cocktails.  I submit that the fresh blackberries, limes, mint and honey in this version makes it even more “medicinal.”

Yield:  4 cocktails

Ingredients:

12 blackberries
20 fresh mint leaves
2 limes
1/4 cup honey syrup (equal parts honey and water blended over low heat until honey is completely melted)
12 ounces good quality gin
tonic water
ice

Directions:

Set out four high ball glasses.

Place 3 blackberries, 5 mint leaves, juice of ½ lime, and 1 tablespoon honey syrup in each glass and muddle together.
Fill each glass with ice, followed by 3 ounces of gin. Top off each drink with tonic water, stir and serve.

Cooking With Honey – Honey Grapefruit Margarita

grapefruit margarita

With the weather heating up, this is a delicious way to cool down!  The honey and the grapefruit combine wonderfully.

Yield:  2 servings

Ingredients

3 oz tequila

2 oz orange liqueur

2 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice (2 limes)

6 oz fresh-squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice (1 grapefruit)

Simple honey syrup, to taste

Salt, for rim

Grapefruit wedges, for serving (optional)

Directions

Mix tequila, orange liqueur, lime, and grapefruit juices well. Add a generous splash of simple honey syrup. (To make simple honey syrup combine equal parts honey and water and heat until honey is completely dissolved. Refrigerate after cooling to save.)

Rub one of the used lime or grapefruit rinds around the rim of two glasses and dip in cocktail salt.

Fill each glass with ice and pour in the margarita.

  • Paloma (moderndayforager.wordpress.com)

The Vernal Equinox Cocktail

strawberry smash

Celebrating the arrival of Spring!!

Yield:  1 cocktail

Ingredients

3 ripe strawberries, hulled and sliced

6 leaves of mint

1 ounce white rum

1/2 ounce honey and 1/2 ounce water, mixed until honey dissolves

2 ounces prosecco

Directions

Add the strawberries and mint to a rocks glass. Smash the strawberries and mint gently with a muddler until the berries are a pulp and the mint smells strong. Add the rum and honey mixture to the glass and give it a stir. Fill 3/4 full with ice. Top off with the prosecco. Garnish with a sprig of mint!

Irish Whiskey And Honey Liqueur

A Kerr mason jar

A Kerr mason jar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jameson's liquer

This is the way we celebrate the Day in my neck of the woods. 🙂

Ingredients:

1 Quart Mason Jar

Honey

Jameson’s Irish Whiskey or a brand of your choice

Directions

Pour approximately 2″ of honey into a clean quart Mason jar.

Fill the remainder of the jar with the Irish Whiskey.

Slowly stir with a wooden spoon until the honey is dissolved into the whiskey.

Serve neat. Don’t drive anywhere.

Mary Poppins’ Rum Punch

REMEMBER TO LIKE ROMANCING THE BEE ON FACEBOOK TO WIN PRIZES!

poppins-illustration

“Is that your medicine?” enquired Michael, looking very interested.

“No, yours,” said Mary Poppins, holding out the spoon to him. Michael stared. He wrinkled up his nose. He began to protest.

“I don’t want it. I don’t need it. I won’t!”

But Mary Poppins’ eyes were fixed upon him, and Michael suddenly discovered that you could not look at Mary Poppins and disobey her. There was something strange and extraordinary about her—something that was frightening and at the same time most exciting. The spoon came nearer. He held his breath, shut his eyes and gulped. A delicious taste ran round his mouth. He turned his tongue in it. He swallowed, and a happy smile ran round his face.

“Strawberry ice,” he said ecstatically. “More, more, more!”

But Mary Poppins, her face as stern as before, was pouring out a dose for Jane. It ran into the spoon, silvery, greeny, yellowy. Jane tasted it.

“Lime-juice cordial,” she said, sliding her tongue deliciously over her lips. But when she saw Mary Poppins moving towards the Twins with the bottle Jane rushed at her.

“Oh, no—please. They’re too young. It wouldn’t be good for them. Please!”

Mary Poppins, however, took no notice, but with a warning, terrible glance at Jane, tipped the spoon towards John’s mouth. He lapped at it eagerly, and by the few drops that were spilt on his bib, Jane and Michael could tell that the substance in the spoon this time was milk. Then Barbara had her share, and she gurgled and licked the spoon twice.

Mary Poppins then poured out another dose and solemnly took it herself.

“Rum punch,” she said, smacking her lips and corking the bottle.

Okay, there is an authentic Mary Poppins cookbook written by P.L. Travers herself.

Mary_Poppins_in_the_Kitchen

However, it’s geared to the 14 and under set. I had an inkling that many of you would be more interested in Mary’s recipe for Rum Punch.

Here it is, totally the figment of my own imagination. Made with honey, of course!  🙂

10-cocktails-romanticos-4

Yield:  4 cocktails

Ingredients

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1/4 cup honey

1/2 cup white rum

1/4 cup dark rum

1/2 cup pineapple juice

1/2 cup orange juice

Orange slices for garnish

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together in a pitcher or small bowl.

Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.

Add ice if desired.

Garnish with orange slices.

Drink and then smack your lips a la Mary!!

The Black Bee Cocktail

Reprinted from Esquire Magazine:

Cocktail of the Week: The Black Bee

“The Gold Rush is a pretty popular neoclassic drink (bourbon, lemon, honey), which comes from a Bee’s Knees (gin, lemon, and honey). I took the Gold Rush format, and I brought down the honey slightly in order to keep the refreshing nature of the drink as forward as possible. Especially because I was pairing with stout, which definitely has more residual sweetness than a lager or a brighter, paler beer like a witte. We use all tap beers — we have twenty-one taps of LA local beers — and originally I used the stout that I had brought on board there. That’s an imperial oatmeal coffee stout. It’s got a rich viscosity to it, and it’s fairly heavy, so it just overpowered the drink. We have a fantastic porter on tap, which is related very closely to stout, but it tends to be a little lighter, so I blended the two in the drink (an ounce and a half of each), and it worked quite well. That said, if people want to make it at home, they can use a pretty standard stout like Sam Smith.

“Don’t go overboard on the beer. Also, try to pour the beer down into the drink so that it mixes thoroughly. Some people make beer cocktails and try to float the foam on top for an attractive layering effect. I think they perceive the foam on top as resembling egg white, but I personally think that’s a bad way to approach it. Here, you’re not just separating texture, but also taking away from a unified flavor profile. You’ll end up getting all beer on top and all cocktail on bottom.” —John Coltharp, The Parish, Los Angeles

Black Bee

  • 2 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon
  • 3/4 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • Sam Smith Oatmeal Stout
  • 1/2 oz honey*

Combine ingredients (excluding beer) with ice and shake. Pour into a Collins glass with fresh ice. Chill with single spear ice cube if possible. Top with 2-3 oz. Sam Smith Oatmeal Stout (available in grocery stores nationwide). Add lemon twist on top.

*Mixed 4:1 with a little bit of water; cold-packed — Coltharp recommends Honey Pacifica Cold-Packed Wildflower Honey.

Read more: Black Bee Cocktail of the Week – Esquire http://www.esquire.com/blogs/food-for-men/black-bee-cocktail-101512#ixzz2LV1Ztc6p