My Home Bar: Bee’s Knees

Thanks to my new book, Speakeasy, I have found quite a few new cocktail recipes, with an emphasis on fresh, high quality ingredients. Which makes the backstory of this cocktail pretty funny.

During Prohibition, since there was a ban on legally manufacturing booze, people of course began to make their own, like the infamous “bathtub gin.” I imagine this couldn’t be the best tasting, or healthy, mix of ingredients, so they would mask the taste with stronger, more fragrant mixers. Like honey syrup.

Obviously, if you just added honey to a cold cocktail, it would just be stuck to the bottom of your glass. So you have to create a syrup from it. I used 1 1/2 cups water and 3/4 cup honey (acacia is best, since it crystallizes least, but I just stuck with what I had on-hand). I also added a splash of vanilla, just to bring out the natural flavor in the honey. Bring to boil on medium heat, then let simmer for about 5 minutes. It will keep for a week, so I need to either drink a bunch of Bee’s Knees, or scour the book for more Honey cocktails.

On to the actual recipe.

It’s pretty simple, kind of a Honey Drop Martini.

2 oz. gin

1 oz. honey syrup

3/4 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice

lemon peel for garnish (optional)

shake ingredients with ice, serve in chilled cocktail glass.

Those flappers are right – the honey totally masks the flavor of the gin, so you can even have cheaper gin brands around for speakeasy cocktails like this. Hello, more money for other bar ingredients!

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