Bees are amazing. Honey is amazing. However, honey can be often looked at as a cheap commodity. When you start to realise the amount of work, care, and time that goes into a jar of honey you understand why the good stuff is so expensive. And the taste of artisanal honeys can vary HUGELY. Heather Honey is funky, earthy, rich. Blossom honey is delicate, floral. Pine honey has a distinct resiny aroma.
For my summer whisky cocktails I wanted to focus on the honey as the flavour and have every other flavour elevate the honey, instead of the other way around.
The Smoked Honey Sour starts with Organic British Honey. Why did I this honey? It has a lovely balance of flavour. Neither too floral, nor too earthy (some honeys are so funky it’s tough for me to enjoy them…I did not want to use one of those honeys in this cocktail IYKWIM).
Next is a base of whisky, Grant's Triplewood has a rich honeyed and orange aroma with a creamy backbone.
A touch of Drambuie, a whisky liqueur originally from the Isle of Skye. Drambuie is whisky & herbs & honey & spices. Specifically though, Drambuie uses heather honey from John Mellis who keeps hives in Dumfries & Galloway, for an intense honey aroma.
The last ingredient is an smokey whisky. I am using a newcomer, Smokey Monkey Shoulder. This adds a delicate smokey note, to make sure it doesn’t overpower the honey. My mom keeps bees in New Jersey, and would use pine needles to smoke them (it keeps them calm). This whisky reminds me of those smoking pine needles.
This drink really showcases honey in all its glory. If you feel like going the extra mile, grab some bee pollen to garnish the drink. The pollen not only looks gorgeous, it adds a lovely crunchy earthy flavour.
FLAVOUR: Sour, rich with honey, alongside spices & smoke
ALLERGENS: None known
VEGETARIAN/VEGAN?: Not vegan, contains honey
Chill ½ hour, add cocktail to a cocktail shaker with lots of ice and shake until frothy. Pour over lots of ice in a rocks glass and garnish with a lemon wedge.
Pour the room temperature cocktail over some tiny cloudy ice you have in that ice tray that came with your freezer. But seriously, for optimum enjoyment use more ice than you think is necessary.