Honey is a wonderful, beautiful, nutrient-packed sugar substance and simple syrup replacement that can add some subtle flavor (and a health boost or two) to a cocktail, while also being more environmentally-conscious and objectively necessary; without the bees that make it, most living things on this planet, including us, wouldn’t have any more food left. We don’t really think of a bumbly black-and-yellow insect as a huge commercial staple, but in all reality the help of these lil guys accounts for over a third of our global food supply. Moreover, the work that they do is largely thankless, and definitely unpaid. If we were to hand-pollinate with the likes of the bees’ work, it’d cost us hundreds of billions of dollars.* Remember the scare in 2015?
Other than the environmental and economic importance (which, by the way, is no less environmentally or economically important now that populations as well as beekeeper services and standards have stabilized), honey is also pretty damn good for you, too. It’s a mild antiseptic, and helps to sooth the throat when ill (but you know that!). It contains a plethora of vitamins (like B6) and minerals that help both general digestion as well as the metabolizing of harmful fatty acids and cholesterol throughout the body.
1 part raw honey (or two parts, for a stronger punch)
1 part water
Mix equal parts honey and water in a sauce pan, and warm just enough to make a uniform mixture of the two. Bam, honey syrup.
This’ll keep well in the refrigerator for about two to three weeks. Depending on the honey you use – wildflower, buckwheat, you name it – your honey syrup will have a bit of a different flavor. Try ’em all. But also, remember: as mentioned in my previous post, a lot of the commercial honey on the market is not actually honey at all, so make sure you go small. Something raw and local is your best bet for the real stuff.
Honey plays very, very nicely with warm drinks both temperature-wise and taste-wise (think: whisky/whiskey), as well as with the more “earthy” tones of gin, and definitely a blank slate like vodka. Sub in some Honey Syrup for the ultra-simplistic Simple Syrup where you can and add a bit more, in many regards, to your next cocktail.
*Yes, it would actually cost this much. This asterisk is just for the Fact Cred: find the report here.