September Is National Honey Month!
A new mead and honey tasting room recently opened in our city. After tasting their delicious honey I want to put it in everything from hot tea to cocktails! OH HONEY! The Bee Sting Cocktail is my new favorite!
Bee Sting Cocktail
…honey makes this cocktail sweet and jalapeno gives it the sting!
Honey simple syrup (enough syrup for 3 cocktails)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup water
Combine honey and water in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring until the honey dissolves. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Bee Sting Cocktail:
Makes one cocktail.
1 jalapeño slice (about 1/2 inch thick slice)
1 ounce gin
3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 ounce honey simple syrup
Jalapeno strip or lemon twist garnish
Gently muddle the jalapeño slice in cocktail shaker, add remaining ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with jalapeño strip or lemon twist (or both!).
Sunset Hills Gin, made in Virginia, is my favorite gin of the moment. Light and delightful, it does not have a strong juniper taste.
Here’s the 411 about the Mead and Honey Tasting Room:
Blacksnake Meadery…from bee to bottle
The Hive (1116 A Main Street SW, Roanoke, VA) – Open year-round
Thursday & Friday 5:00-8:00
samples: top left: Orange Blossom, top right Avocado
middle left: Raspberry, middle right: Buckwheat
bottom left: Thistle, bottom right: Wildflower
Orange Blossom and Wildflower honey are my traditional favorites to add to hot tea, so it was fun to taste some different honey made from some surprising nectar.
The most pleasant surprise was the avocado honey….YUM! Avocado honey is made by the bees from the nectar of the avocado blossom. Rich, soft, creamy honey. Perfect to drizzle over cheese as an hors d’oeuvre. Raspberry honey would also be a good choice for the drizzle.
Buckwheat honey is dark and delicious with molasses undertones. Buckwheat is not wheat, it is a fruit related to rhubarb. I would use this honey for cooking and baking.
Thistles have prickly stems and leaves with a rounded head of purple flowers. The thistle is the national symbol of Scotland. The flavor of this honey can vary depending on the variety of thistle blossoms that are the source of the nectar. It can be light and sweet or more earthy with cinnamon or anise undertones. Thistle honey is my new favorite to add to my hot tea.
My husband and I enjoyed a Mead and Cider tasting at The Hive. Our flight included:
Hoppy Bee Brew ~ tastes like a fizzy light beer, lots of Cascades hoppy flavor. The Hive recommends pairing this brew with burgers, earthy foods such as pasta with porcini as well as pizza.
Lime Bee Brew ~ Light, dry and carbonated made with lime puree. The Hive recommends pairing this brew with Thai or Mexican dishes or other spicy fare.
Foggy Ridge First Fruit Cider ~ Crisp, fruity cider made from early season heirloom apples. Tart apple aromas and flavors.
Foggy Ridge Serious Cider ~ Dry cider with floral and apple aromas made with high tannin heirloom apples.
(Blacksnake Mead and Foggy Ridge Cider are both made in Dugspur, Virginia. https://foggyridgecider.com)
Meloluna ~ Blacksnake calls this their “honeymoon” mead (Latin, mel = honey; luna = moon). This sweet dessert mead has aromas and flavors of honey with hints of caramel. The Hive recommends pairing the Meloluna with your favorite dessert or a good cigar.
This little 4 month old kitty just joined us in his new forever home. His name is Ziggy Elman (American Jazz Trumpeter). I will include a photo of his brother Artie Shaw in future blogs…he has not decided to come out from under the bed yet, a little shy.
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