Meyer Lemon Margarita

meyerlemonmargaritaHappy National Margarita Day! I’m not sure who started this holiday, but I’m positive I like the way it’s celebrated. This cocktail uses fresh Meyer lemons, mint and honey to bring a new twist to a beloved classic. This combo gives it a fresh taste that will certainly lift your spirits.

Meyer Lemon Margarita

1 1/2 ounces honey
3-4 generous sprigs of fresh mint
1 ounce fresh Meyer lemon juice
2 ounces tequila

Muddle the mint and honey at the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add lemon and tequila, then shake with ice. Strain into cocktail glass (serve over ice if desired).

I used Casa Noble Crystal tequila.  This tequila had a nice smooth quality that worked well with the lemon and honey, as a more peppery tequila would have distracted from the flavor combinations. You can use your favorite brand, but be sure it’s 100% agave tequila.

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Fall Gin Cocktail: Apple Business

Apple Business4 (credit Alice Gao)It’s fall … even though the weather where I am doesn’t quite feel like it yet. To get a little of that autumnal atmosphere into my life, I mixed up an apple cocktail. It’s simple to make, but has a lot of complex flavors going on. The floral notes in the gin really went well with honey. Come on, fall! I’m ready for you!

It’s no secret Nolet’s is one of my favorite gins, so I was more than happy to try this recipe when they sent it to me. I just used plain old clover honey (like the kind that comes in a squeezy bear), but this would be excellent with some blackberry honey or orange honey.

Apple Business

2 ounces gin
1 ounce fresh apple juice
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce honey

Shake all ingredients over ice, and then strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with apple slice.

Recipe by Theo Lieberman, Milk & Honey (NYC)
Photo by Alice Gao

Good Morning Milan from PDT

It’s complicated, fancy-pants cocktail time! You’ll notice there are a lot of asterisks in this recipe. Tincture, syrup, cheese-and-milk mixtures, egg white … this is one involved drink. It was created by a bartender at PDT in New York, which is consistently named one of the best bars whenever there’s any kind of poll or contest. (There’s even a PDT cocktail book.) But the last time I was in New York, the place was so packed that I couldn’t get in. I get a lot of recipes emailed to me, but I had to try this one so I could get at least part of the PDT experience at home.

Good Morning Milan
Created by Michael Klein, PDT

2 ounces blended scotch*
3/4 ounce lemon juice
3/4 ounce sage honey syrup**
1/2 ounce mascarpone milk ***
2 dashes of lavender tincture****
1 egg white
1 ounce club soda

Pour all ingredients except the soda into a shaker without ice and shake for 15 seconds. Add ice to the shaker, and then shake for an additional 30 seconds. Pour the club soda into a chilled Collins glass, and then strain the drink on top. Garnish with a sprig of lavender.

*This recipe was created with The Black Grouse blended scotch, but you can substitute another blended scotch if needed—just make it a smoky one.

**Make the syrup by mixing equal parts warm water and sage honey.Sage honey is particularly mild, but you can substitute another honey.

*** Blend equal parts mascarpone and whole milk until smooth.

**** You can make your own lavender tincture or buy it. Lavender bitters would also do the trick, if you can find them.Good Morning Milan (PDT)Photo and recipe courtesy of The Black Grouse

Honey Cocktails

Honey Rye from Bon Appetit

It’s crazy hot here even though I’m ready for lovely, mild autumn weather. Honey is the perfect ingredient to bridge the weather’s seasonal confusion disorder. The sweetness of  honey works well in refreshing summer drinks as well as spiced fall concoctions. So I found a few honey drinks that would be equally appropriate for sweltering heat and pleasant fall temperatures. You can even make your own honey liqueur for the occasion.

The Lazy Boy ~Bourbon, figs, ginger, and honey. What’s not to love about this cocktail?

Honey Rum Fizz ~ This drink is sort of like a honeyed Mojito with the added texture and silkiness of egg white. Fresh, sweet, foamy … and refreshing.

Honey Rye ~ The spicy kick of rye is balanced with honey liqueur and ginger ale. Add a few dashes of orange bitters and you have a drink that’s good for a heat wave or a crisp fall day.

Campari Dolce ~ We know honey goes well with sweet and spicy, but it’s also a good match for bitterness. Add honey to gin and Campari for a complex and unique cocktail.

Isartal Rose ~ Gin, Pimm’s, grapefruit, honey, and a few dashes of celery bitters make for an interesting combination that is perfect for sipping on the porch.