So, September is National Honey Month. You might not have realized honey had an entire month devoted to its celebration, but given the imperiled state of our honeybees, I am all for it. Thankfully, urban beekeeping is on the rise (it’s shockingly easy and not as scary as you think, so if you are a person who appreciates things like food, you might become interested in the welfare of the guys responsible for pollenating much of it!). Meanwhile, I’d like to take a minute to applaud New York Hilton Midtown for getting folks buzzed locavore style. The hotel has introduced 450,000 honey bees to their rooftop garden. This means a harvest of about 300 pounds of honey a year, a serious dedication to sustainable food sourcing, and plenty of inspiration for delicious honeyed cocktails.
Honey is a wonderful flavor for fall food and drink, complementing herbaceous flavors like rosemary and sage, fall fruits like persimmons, pears and apples, nuts, feisty spices like ginger, mustard seed and cinnamon, citrus zest and a huge range of spirits, from vodka to tequila to whiskey. It is of course very viscous and takes longer to dissolve than sugar: If you’re making cocktails with honey, shakers are your friend, and add ice at the end!
We copped the recipe for the Hilton Midtown’s own Honey Cosmopolitan: Make this and then let your imagination take over. Even if you’re not totally equipped to go hive-to-table, supporting your local beekeepers is a valuable act, so honey it up!
1 3/4 oz. Ruby Red Grapefruit Absolut Vodka
1 ¼ oz. Cranberry Juice
1 oz. Hilton Rooftop Honey
Muddled Lime and Rosemary
Directions: Mix lime, rosemary, honey and ice with one shot of Vodka and Cranberry juice. Shake, stir and enjoy.
If you want to check into whether you can host a hive where you live, there are multitudes of books and organizations to help you out. A quick consult with Doctor Google will give you tons of resources. If you’re not up for that, there’s also no shortage of honey-forward cocktail goodness going around for fall. Use this riff on the Cosmopolitan as a springboard and get creative. Cheers!