When making cocktails, the usual way to sweeten your drinks is sugar syrup. But there are plenty of alternatives: From the color-changing Butterfly Pea syrup to banana syrup to intensely flavored Demerara syrup. -And honey simple syrup is another great option.
Honey is known for sweetening hot drinks like tea. That is because it needs heat to properly dissolve. In cold drinks, it will remain gooey and won't blend well. Its consistency is simply too thick.
Fortunately, there's a workaround to help with that. Honey mix will bring this delicious flavor to your cocktails and blend perfectly with all ingredients.
Are honey syrup and honey the same?
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.
The perfect ratio
When making honey syrup we only need two ingredients - water and honey. The standard ratio of honey and water is 1:1. If you prefer a more intense honey flavor, a ratio of 2:1 or even 3:1 is possible.
However, keep in mind that you trade the intensity of the flavor for a less soluble syrup. Thus, I recommend, don't go beyond 2:1 if you intend to mix cocktails with it. Generally, a 1:1 approach will do the trick.
How to make it
It's pretty straightforward. All you need is honey, water, a saucepan, a fine strainer, and a sealable bottle.
Step 1: Add honey and water into the saucepan and put it on the stove at medium heat.
Step2: Stir while the mix heats up. Once the honey has fully dissolved, let the syrup simmer on low heat for another 5 minutes.
Step 3: Remove the saucepan from the heat and let its contents cool down.
Step 4: 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 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.
The best honey mix for cocktails
With every cocktail, you have to balance flavors. When using simple syrup, things are pretty straightforward. Yet, when using honey syrup, it makes sense to think about how it fits your drinks:
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: Thanks to its berries notes, it is 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 simple syrup
Many delicious cocktails contain honey mix. For instance, the Bee's Knees, or a variation of it, the Gold Rush, are two great recipes to start with.
Another pretty good cocktail is the Penicillin based on Scotch Whisky. More contemporary creations are the Ve.n.to cocktail made with Italian Grappa or the Spicy Fifty (2:1 ratio), made with elderflower, Vodka, and hot chilis.
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.
- 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 your honey syrup cool down, and then bottle it. You can store it in the fridge for later use.