20 best Honey cocktails
Words by Simon Difford
Photography by Dan Malpass
Honey predates sugar as a sweetener and is a delicious alternative to sugar to balance citrus acidity in sour cocktails, particularly when flavoursome raw honey is used. Light kinds of honey such as acacia and orange blossom, impart a very different flavour profile to heavier honeys such as heather honey. Honey varies as much in flavour as rum does.
You can use a bar spoon (or teaspoon) to measure honey directly from the jar (as per a few of the recipes below) but it's easier to accurately measure and use honey in cocktails if you first mix with water to make a honey syrup. It's quick and easy to make a honey syrup and we use three parts honey to one part water to make a syrup that flows and dissolves easier than when undiluted but maintains some of the honey's viscosity.
Aged Honey Daiquiri
With: Aged rum, lime juice and honey syrup.
We say: Rich flavoursome honey syrup replaces sugar in this delicious Daiquiri. Fuller flavoured honeys perhaps call for bigger bolder rums.
With: Golden rum, lime juice and honey syrup with champagne.
We say: Lightly or well-aged rum invigorated with champagne, freshened with a touch of lime, and balanced by honeyed richness.
With: Light rum, Campari, lemon juice, honey syrup and IPA beer.
We say: Zesty lemon, Italian bitter red liqueur, and tangy IPA makes for a zippy, refreshing drink. Using a characterful IPA and nailing exactly the right amount of honey are key to this drink's success.
With: Honey, Scotch whisky, oat milk, Drambuie liqueur, amaretto and cream.
We say: Forget the porridge and kick start your day with an Atholl Brose.
With: Dry gin, lemon juice, honey syrup and orange juice.
We say: The combination of honey and lemon suggests flu relief but don't wait for an ailment before trying this soothing concoction.
With: Straight rye whiskey, Cynar, amaro and honey syrup.
We say: Bittersweet and whisky-laced but smoothed and mellowed by honeyed richness.
With: Vodka, genepi liqueur, lemon juice and honey syrup.
We say: Floral, honeyed, herbal and vodka-laced.
With: Golden rum, lime juice and honey syrup.
We say: Achieve the perfect balance between sweet honey and sour lime and this is a truly great drink.
With: White overproof rum, honey syrup and lime juice.
We say: Take at the first sign of a cold, and then retreat under your bed covers. Repeat dose regularly while symptoms persist. Warning do not consume with other forms of medication.
With: Honey, Scotch whisky, red wine and cassis.
We say: Dry wine tannins and smoky scotch balance rich honey and blackcurrent liqueur.
With: Golden rum, lemon juice, orange juice and honey syrup.
We say: A Daiquiri made with flavoursome honey in place of sugar, or a Bee's Knees with rum in place of gin. However you view this, it's damn tasty.
With: Honey, tequila, freshly squeezed lime juice and aromatic bitters.
We say: A fittingly seductive Margarita.
Lucky Lili Margarita
With: Honey, tequila, pineapple juice, lime juice and black pepper.
We say: Spicy tequila and pineapple tingle with balance and flavour.
Merchant of Venice
With: Vodka, honey, Italian red aperitivo liqueur, lemon juice and egg white.
We say: The richness and flavour of honey along with the distinctive taste of aperitivo liqueur jointly balance lemon citrus notes in this majestic vodka-based cocktail.
With: Honey, Bison grass vodka, camomile tea and honey liqueur.
We say: Grass honey with spicy, slightly tannic, camomile finish.
With: Genever, Poire William eau-de-vie, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, honey and lemon juice.
We say: Boozy with bready genever, pear, citrus and faint rich honey.
Three Dots and a Dash
With: Martinique V.S.O.P rum, aged rum, falernum, pimento dram liqueur, lime and orange juice, honey syrup and aromatic bitters.
We say: Rhum agricole and allspice dram play a huge role in what is one of the most complex of all classic tiki drinks.
With: Vodka, lemon juice, and honey syrup.
We say: The most delicious way to boost your immunity. The alcohol kills the germs and the honey and lemon boost your immunity – at least, that's the theory.
With: Honey, Bison grass vodka, spiced rum, triple sec, sugar syrup, lemon juice and apple juice
We say: Orange, honey, apple and spice, laced with Polish Bison grass vodka.
With: Cognac, honey syrup and single cream.
We say: Cognac is smoothed with honey and softened with milk and cream in this classic cocktail.