Simple syrup is fine for bringing a bit of sweetness to your drink, but if you’re seeking something richer, follow Winnie the Pooh’s lead and choose honey. Honey brings a nutty, earthy sweetness to cocktails, and the wide range of varieties from wildflower to orange blossom make it easy to customize a cocktail specifically to your tastes. While some drinkers prefer to ferment their honey into mead, we prefer to mix it directly into our libations. Here, some of the best drinks to make with honey. Cheers, Pooh.
The 7 Best Honey Cocktails
With its throwback name, it’s no surprise the Bee’s Knees was born during Prohibition, when honey was added to bathtub gin to make it remotely palatable. Leave behind the swill of days gone by and use a quality gin whose botanicals complement your choice of honey.
Fresh Lemon Juice
If the Bee’s Knees is too sweet and mellow for you, spike the cocktail with jalapeños for a punchy Bee Sting. Spice and honey definitely play well together, so don’t be scared off by the cocktail’s combative name.
The name of this modern classic refers to the restorative properties of its main ingredients: fresh ginger, lemon and honey. It may not protect you from infection, but the drink will surely wipe away the stress of a bad day. Take two and call us in the morning.
If you like your honeyed cocktail with an ostentatious garnish, make yourself this tiki classic, complete with an icy Navy Grog cone. There are two versions of this drink, with competing recipes provided by tiki gods Donn Beach and Trader Vic. You’ll only find honey in Beach’s, which uses it to sweeten a mix of three types of rum, grapefruit juice and seltzer.
As with any self-respecting tiki drink, the Pearl Diver involves a homemade ingredient with an equally extravagant name. Don’s Gardenia Mix, which combines honey with butter and various spices, gives the Pearl Diver its signature creamy sweetness. FYI, excess Gardenia Mix is excellent spread on toast or pancakes.
Don’s Gardenia Mix
Fresh Orange Juice
This potent libation wouldn’t be nearly as tempting to teetotaling missionaries without honey’s round sweetness, which interplays nicely with the natural sweetness of peach brandy. The slushy concoction is irresistible.
A spoonful of honey makes the medicine go down. The Hot Toddy has built up a solid reputation as the cure-all cocktail, but the warm honeyed drink is perfect on any cold evening. Whiskey is the classic spirit of choice, but you can spike it with any booze of your liking.