20 best Honey cocktails

Words by Simon Difford

Photography by Dan Malpass

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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.

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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.

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Air Mail
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.

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Anything Else
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.

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Atholl Brose
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.

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Bee's Knees
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.

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Bubo Bubo
With: Straight rye whiskey, Cynar, amaro and honey syrup.
We say: Bittersweet and whisky-laced but smoothed and mellowed by honeyed richness.

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Bucket List
With: Vodka, genepi liqueur, lemon juice and honey syrup.
We say: Floral, honeyed, herbal and vodka-laced.

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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.

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Cold Comfort
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.

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Honey Cobbler
With: Honey, Scotch whisky, red wine and cassis.
We say: Dry wine tannins and smoky scotch balance rich honey and blackcurrent liqueur.

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Honeysuckle Daiquiri
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.

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Lolita Margarita
With: Honey, tequila, freshly squeezed lime juice and aromatic bitters.
We say: A fittingly seductive Margarita.

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Lucky Lili Margarita
With: Honey, tequila, pineapple juice, lime juice and black pepper.
We say: Spicy tequila and pineapple tingle with balance and flavour.

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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.

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With: Honey, Bison grass vodka, camomile tea and honey liqueur.
We say: Grass honey with spicy, slightly tannic, camomile finish.

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The Savelberg
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.

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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.

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Vodka Quarantini
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.

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Warsaw Cooler
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.

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With: Cognac, honey syrup and single cream.
We say: Cognac is smoothed with honey and softened with milk and cream in this classic cocktail.

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