How to Make a Honey Bee

There are sweet cocktails—the tooth ache-inducing, sugar rush-starting, stomach-somersaulting drinks that share a common ancestor with the Frappuccino—and then there are cocktails brushed with sweetness. The Honey Bee is the latter. It is utterly delightful, even more so when you make it during spring. (As of this writing, spring is being overshadowed by illness and honey-bee-devouring “murder hornets,” so we’re looking for an escapist drink.)

The honey in a Honey Bee is a strong flavor component, but the rum gives it interesting depth and the lemon makes for a tart finish, so it’s balanced all around. Sweet, funky, and sour—a palate that’s just so dang pleasant, like May sunshine, fresh-cut flowers, and all that other good springtime crap.

A Little Background

This recipe was first recorded by a New York lawyer and National Inter-Fraternity Conference chairman named David Embury in his 1948 book The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks. Embury was influential in drinks history for his strongly voiced opinions about cocktails. “I have seen Martinis that looked like dishwater just recovering from a bad case of jaundice and Manhattans that resembled nothing else quite so much as rusty sludge from the radiator of a Model T Ford,” he wrote on the subject. He was also, by Esquire‘s account, racist, railing against “left-wing radicals” who felt it discriminatory to bar people from the Council based on race. That so agreeable a cocktail should come from so unfortunate a source is indeed ironic.

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If You Like This, Try These

The Honey Bee goes by another name: the Honeysuckle. (Different sources call for different types of rum in each; go with your gut, or whatever you have on hand.) It is nearly identical to the Bee’s Knees, which swaps in gin for the rum. If you take a Honey Bee and top it off with champagne, you get an Air Mail. The Honey Bee is also similar in spirit to a Hot Toddy, a hot drink with lemon and honey, and its cold counterpart, the Gold Rush.

What You Need

Here’s what you need to do a Honey Bee justice, beyond what you might be able to dig out of the fridge or cupboard.

Photography and Prop styling by Heidi’s Bridge
Food styling by Sean Dooley

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Source : Esquire