When making cocktails, the usual way to sweeten your drinks is simple syrup, but there is a fantastic alternative: Honey syrup!
Honey is mainly known for sweetening hot drinks like tea. That is because it needs heat to dissolve. In chilled drinks, it does not blend well due to its thick consistency. Fortunately, there's a workaround to help with that.
Our honey mix will bring this delicious flavor to your cocktails and blend perfectly with all ingredients.
- 1 cup Honey of your choice
- 1 cup Water
- Take a small saucepan and put it on low to medium heat.
- Add water and honey to the saucepan and gently stir the mixture until combined. Let it simmer at low heat for another 5 minutes.1 cup Honey of your choice, 1 cup Water
- Let your honey syrup cool down, and then bottle it. You can store it in the fridge for later use.
The Ideal Ratio
When making honey syrup, we only need two ingredients - water and honey. The standard ratio of the two elements is 1:1. If you prefer a more intense honey flavor, a ratio of 2:1 or, even 3:1 is possible.
However, remember that you trade the intensity of the flavor for a less soluble syrup. I recommend not going beyond 2:1 if you intend to mix cocktails with it. Generally, the traditional 1:1 approach will do the trick.
Tips for Making Honey Syrup
Making honey mix is pretty straightforward. Get the required tools and ingredients - honey, water, a saucepan, a fine strainer, and a sealable bottle - and you are good to go.
Stir while the mix heats up, and keep stirring until the honey has fully dissolved. Then, let the syrup simmer on low heat for another 5 minutes and remove the saucepan from the stove.
Once your honey simple syrup is cooled down, bottle it with the help of a fine mesh strainer to ensure there are no lumps.
You can store homemade syrup in the fridge, but, personally, we keep our honey mix at a cool place but not in the fridge. However, technically, if you keep it in a sterilized bottle, you can also store it at any room temperature.
The advantage of keeping it at room temperature is that the consistency is more runny, and you can use your honey syrup without any delays. When keeping your honey mix in the fridge, it gets thicker, and you might need to let it warm up a little before using it.
Honey mix with a higher ratio of honey will crystallize quickly in the fridge, so keep that outside in any case.
You can add more flavor and aroma to the syrup by incorporating sprigs of rosemary or thyme. Remember that the herbs should complement the honey you chose.
Another way to flavor honey syrup is to replace water with tea. Think of using chamomile tea or hibiscus tea. That can create a beautiful twist to an already delicious cocktail sweetener.
Best Honey for Honey Syrup
With every cocktail, you have to balance flavors. So, when using honey syrup, it makes sense to think about which type of honey fits best:
Check if the flavor of the honey will work with the other ingredients in your cocktail. For this, taste it pure without watering it down.
To get started, I recommend using Clover Honey. It's widely available, mild in flavor, and extremely versatile. Perfect for some experiments with honey syrup in cocktails.
Other suitable options are:
- Orange Blossom Honey: It is mild with citric notes and a fantastic choice for summer cocktails with floral Gin or Vodka.
- Eucalyptus Honey: The unique combination of menthol and the typical sweetness of honey makes it a brilliant and intriguing choice if you want to try something new.
- Buckwheat Honey: Dark with an intense flavor and taste. In terms of looks and viscosity, it is somewhat similar to molasses. If you use Buckwheat honey, always of for the 1:1 ratio. 2:1 will be too thick. It works well in cocktails with aged Rum, Bourbon, or an Extra Añejo Tequila.
- Blueberry Honey: The berries notes make it a beautiful fit for fruity cocktails. It works exceptionally well in summer Gin cocktails.
- Chestnut Honey: Supposedly among the best types of honey in the world. It is dark in color and has an intense flavor with a hint of pepper. It's less sweet than others and has a slightly bitter aftertaste. Chestnut honey syrup works amazingly well in cocktails made with Whiskey.
Cocktails with Honey Syrup
Many delicious cocktails contain honey mix. Two of the most popular classics are the Bee's Knees Cocktail and a variation of it, the Gold Rush. And there are more exquisite recipes that call for honey syrup:
- The Penicillin Cocktail, based on Scotch Whisky.
- The Ve.n.to cocktail, a contemporary creation made with Italian grappa
- The Spicy Fifty, made with elderflower, vodka, and hot chilis. Here, the recipe includes a honey mix with a ratio of 2:1, though.
- If you feel more experimental, try a Poitín Basil Smash. It is a fantastic mix of honey, lemon, basil, and the ancient Irish Moonshine spirit.
Can You use Honey Instead of Syrup?
No, honey and honey syrup are definitely not the same. Honey syrup is a mix of water and honey, also known as honey mix or liquid honey.
As mentioned before, due to its viscosity, pure honey should not go into cold drinks like cocktails. So we need to water it down to make it thinner and easier to work with.
More Cocktail Syrups
From the color-changing butterfly pea syrup to banana syrup and molasses-heavy demerara syrup, the options and variations of homemade syrups for cocktails are endless. Among our current favorites are: