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!

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

Holidays With Honey – The Winter Solstice Cocktail

winter-solstice

The pomegranate has been used throughout history and in almost every religion as a symbol of humanity’s most fundamental beliefs and desires, including life and death, rebirth and eternal life, fertility and marriage, abundance and prosperity. Almost every aspect of the pomegranate has come to symbolize something . . . its shape, color, seeds, juice.

It’s very fitting that the Winter Solstice cocktail should feature pomegranate juice.

Ingredients

2 oz vodka

3/4 oz fresh lemon juice

1/2 oz pomegranate juice

1 oz honey

Orange wedge

Directions

Add vodka, lemon juice, pomegranate juice, and honey to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a short or highball glass with ice. Garnish with an orange wedge. Drink up and repeat!

Cheery Cranberry Cocktails

Have you ever noticed how many mixed drinks contain cranberry juice? Why is that, I wondered?  

The answer was easy to find. Cranberry juice is unique in that it can can be paired with a variety of flavors and will nearly always taste great.

In many mixed drinks cranberry juice is used to finish off a drink or to give it that “something special”. Cranberry juice’s sweet and tart flavor pairs well with practically any type of alcohol including vodka, gin, bourbon, rum and tequila. It even enhances the flavor of Champagne!

In addition to the drinks below, there is cranberry juice in The Samhain and also in The Bee-tini, which you can find in Cooking With Honey.

Honey Cranberry Champagne Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1-ounce cranberry juice (sweetened)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 wedge lime
  • Champagne or sparkling wine
  • Cranberries (frozen)

Directions

In a chilled Champagne flute add cranberry juice, honey and a squeeze of lime. Stir gently until honey is blended in.  Top off the glass with Champagne. Garnish with 3 or 4 cranberries.

Honey Cranberry Slush

Photo courtesy of Amy Marrero Doyle

Ingredients 

1 cup frozen cranberry juice concentrate

1/2 cup honey

juice of 1 lemon

1 (12 ounce) can chilled lemon-lime soda

1 cup bourbon

Directions

In a medium bowl, stir together the cranberry juice concentrate, honey, lemon juice, lemon-lime soda and bourbon. Cover and freeze overnight. It will remain slushy because of the bourbon. Scoop spoonfuls into small glasses to serve as a cocktail.

Recipe makes 6 servings

Samhain And The Bees

The ancient Celtic calendar follows the agricultural year more closely than our modern calendar. This is especially true for the beekeeper.

It “officially” becomes Winter on December 21st by the standard Western calendar, but in the ancient Celtic calendar, it begins a lot earlier.  On November 1st, Celtic winter begins with  the season of  Samhain (pronounced SOW-in).  The beginning of Samhain is traditionally celebrated on October 31st.

The Celtic seasons  are:

1. Samhain    (Winter) November 1st, the beginning of the new year, to January 31st.

2. Imbolc    (Spring)  February 1st to April 30th

3. Beltain    (Summer) May 1st to July 31st

4. Lughnasadh   (Fall)  August 1st to Oct. 31st

Why does the Celtic Winter start so early?

For beekeepers, it means that the queen stops laying and the bees go into their winter cluster with the queen always at the center, huddling together for warmth until Imbolc arrives in February and the queen again becomes active.

For most “believers”, Samhain,  means “End of Summer”, and is the third and final Harvest. The dark winter half of the year commences on this day.

October 31st is one of the two “spirit-nights” each year, the other being Beltain. It is a magical interval when the mundane laws of time and space are temporarily suspended, and the Thin Veil between the worlds is lifted. Communicating with ancestors and departed loved ones is easy at this time, for they journey through this world on their way to the Summerlands.

This was the time that the cattle and other livestock were slaughtered for eating in the ensuing winter months. Any crops still in the field on Samhain were considered taboo, and left as offerings to the Nature spirits.

Bonfires were built, (originally called bone-fires, for after feasting, the bones were thrown in the fire as offerings for healthy and plentiful livestock in the New Year) and stones were marked with peoples names. Then they were thrown into the fire, to be retrieved in the morning.

The condition of the retrieved stone foretold of that person’s fortune in the coming year. Hearth fires were also lit from the village bonfire to ensure unity, and the ashes were spread over the harvested fields to protect and bless the land.

Celebrate the Lifting of the Veil with a Samhain Cocktail.

1 1/2 oz. Vodka

1/2 oz. raspberry liqueur

1/2 oz. honey

1 oz. cranberry juice

Mix together in a shaker with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a cranberry.

The Bee-tini

I’m not crazy about Martinis, but Bee-tinis are delicious!  And pink!!

3 1/2 oz.  vodka
1/2 oz. Chambord Raspberry Liqueur
1/2 teaspooon honey

Combine all ingredients in shaker with a handful of ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a Raspberry.

Honey Bee Cocktail

Ingredients

1/2 tablespoon honey
1/2 tablespoon water
2 ounces white rum
1/2 ounce lemon juice

Instructions

Put the honey and warm water in a cocktail shaker and stir it until the honey is thoroughly dissolved. Add the white rum and lemon juice, then shake viciously with cracked ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. If this is too dry, or if you’re feeling charitable and generous of spirit, add more honey. It couldn’t hurt!

Ginger Honey Liqueur

The bees gave us one of the earliest alcoholic beverages known, mead.  Mead predates wine and distilled spirits by many thousands of years.

This recipe is quite different from mead, but satisfying just the same. Vodka may be substituted for whiskey for a lighter tasting drink.

Ingredients


  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons chopped, fresh ginger root
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 1/2 cups bourbon whiskey (or vodka)

How to make it


  • Bring honey and water to boil, boiling for approx. 3 – 5 minutes. Ensure to skim any foam off surface (this is residual beeswax).
  • Add ginger and lemon and boil for additional 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stand until just warm, strain out solids with fine seive.
  • Transfer liquid to clean dry container and add whiskey or vodka.
  • Store in cool, dark place for 4 weeks.

Enjoy!

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