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

St. Cecilia Society Punch With Honey

st cecilia

St. Cecilia Society Punch is named for a famously private and exclusive social organization founded in Charleston, South Carolina, in the 18th century. My Oldest Friend Mary Ann makes this punch for New Year’s Day.

It doesn’t have the firepower of Chatham Artillery Punch, but that may be a good thing. It’s every bit as delicious though!

Ingredients

2 medium lemons, thinly sliced

3/4 cup brandy

3/4 cup honey

2 tea bags green tea

3/4 cup dark rum

1/2 small pineapple, peeled, cored, sliced 1/2 inch thick, and cut into small wedges

1 750-ml bottle Champagne

6 cups sparkling water, chilled

Directions

Put the lemon slices in a large bowl and pour the brandy over them. Let macerate at room temperature overnight.

In a small saucepan, combine the honey with 3/4 cup water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the honey dissolves, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the tea bags, and steep for 2 to 3 minutes. Discard the tea bags and let the syrup cool.

At least 3 hours and up to 6 hours before serving, combine the lemons, brandy, syrup, rum, and pineapple in a large pitcher or bowl. Chill in the refrigerator.

Just before serving, pour the punch into a large chilled punch bowl with a block of ice. Add the Champagne and sparkling water, and gently

British Week – A Nice Cup Of Tea

A Nice Cup of Tea

By George Orwell

Evening Standard, 12 January 1946.


If you look up ‘tea’ in the first cookery book that comes to hand you will probably find that it is unmentioned; or at most you will find a few lines of sketchy instructions which give no ruling on several of the most important points.

This is curious, not only because tea is one of the main stays of civilization in this country, as well as in Eire, Australia and New Zealand, but because the best manner of making it is the subject of violent disputes.

When I look through my own recipe for the perfect cup of tea, I find no fewer than eleven outstanding points. On perhaps two of them there would be pretty general agreement, but at least four others are acutely controversial. Here are my own eleven rules, every one of which I regard as golden:

  • First of all, one should use Indian or Ceylonese tea. China tea has virtues which are not to be despised nowadays — it is economical, and one can drink it without milk — but there is not much stimulation in it. One does not feel wiser, braver or more optimistic after drinking it. Anyone who has used that comforting phrase ‘a nice cup of tea’ invariably means Indian tea.
  • Secondly, tea should be made in small quantities — that is, in a teapot. Tea out of an urn is always tasteless, while army tea, made in a cauldron, tastes of grease and whitewash. The teapot should be made of china or earthenware. Silver or Britanniaware teapots produce inferior tea and enamel pots are worse; though curiously enough a pewter teapot (a rarity nowadays) is not so bad.
  • Thirdly, the pot should be warmed beforehand. This is better done by placing it on the hob than by the usual method of swilling it out with hot water.
  • Fourthly, the tea should be strong. For a pot holding a quart, if you are going to fill it nearly to the brim, six heaped teaspoons would be about right. In a time of rationing, this is not an idea that can be realized on every day of the week, but I maintain that one strong cup of tea is better than twenty weak ones. All true tea lovers not only like their tea strong, but like it a little stronger with each year that passes — a fact which is recognized in the extra ration issued to old-age pensioners.
  • Fifthly, the tea should be put straight into the pot. No strainers, muslin bags or other devices to imprison the tea. In some countries teapots are fitted with little dangling baskets under the spout to catch the stray leaves, which are supposed to be harmful. Actually one can swallow tea-leaves in considerable quantities without ill effect, and if the tea is not loose in the pot it never infuses properly.
  • Sixthly, one should take the teapot to the kettle and not the other way about. The water should be actually boiling at the moment of impact, which means that one should keep it on the flame while one pours. Some people add that one should only use water that has been freshly brought to the boil, but I have never noticed that it makes any difference.
  • Seventhly, after making the tea, one should stir it, or better, give the pot a good shake, afterwards allowing the leaves to settle.
  • Eighthly, one should drink out of a good breakfast cup — that is, the cylindrical type of cup, not the flat, shallow type. The breakfast cup holds more, and with the other kind one’s tea is always half cold before one has well started on it.
  • Ninthly, one should pour the cream off the milk before using it for tea. Milk that is too creamy always gives tea a sickly taste.
  • Tenthly, one should pour tea into the cup first. This is one of the most controversial points of all; indeed in every family in Britain there are probably two schools of thought on the subject. The milk-first school can bring forward some fairly strong arguments, but I maintain that my own argument is unanswerable. This is that, by putting the tea in first and stirring as one pours, one can exactly regulate the amount of milk whereas one is liable to put in too much milk if one does it the other way round.
  • Lastly, tea — unless one is drinking it in the Russian style — should be drunk without sugar. I know very well that I am in a minority here. But still, how can you call yourself a true tealover if you destroy the flavour of your tea by putting sugar in it? It would be equally reasonable to put in pepper or salt. Tea is meant to be bitter, just as beer is meant to be bitter. If you sweeten it, you are no longer tasting the tea, you are merely tasting the sugar; you could make a very similar drink by dissolving sugar in plain hot water.Some people would answer that they don’t like tea in itself, that they only drink it in order to be warmed and stimulated, and they need sugar to take the taste away. To those misguided people I would say: Try drinking tea without sugar for, say, a fortnight and it is very unlikely that you will ever want to ruin your tea by sweetening it again.

These are not the only controversial points to arise in connexion with tea drinking, but they are sufficient to show how subtilized the whole business has become. There is also the mysterious social etiquette surrounding the teapot (why is it considered vulgar to drink out of your saucer, for instance?) and much might be written about the subsidiary uses of tealeaves, such as telling fortunes, predicting the arrival of visitors, feeding rabbits, healing burns and sweeping the carpet. It is worth paying attention to such details as warming the pot and using water that is really boiling, so as to make quite sure of wringing out of one’s ration the twenty good, strong cups of that two ounces, properly handled, ought to represent.

(taken from The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell, Volume 3, 1943-45, Penguin ISBN, 0-14-00-3153-7)

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.

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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