Johnny Cocktail has been VERY busy!

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Bit Mo' Honey

In a Shot:  New cocktail of the month proving beer and spirits can go together!

After coming off the popular Whiskey Ginger Fizz #2 cocktail using ginger beer, I was kind of inspired to edge people into trying out a true beer cocktail.  Last year, Christy Przystawik, owner of Food Matters approached me with a cocktail idea of using a hoppy beer and combining it with gin, honey and salt.  We collaborated on the idea and furthered it by infusing the honey with rosemary and lemon juice.  Circling the rim with honey and salt it lead to a very delicious (though a bit messy) cocktail.  If I remember correctly, the drink then got placed on the back burner because of arrival of strawberries which lead to the creation of my balsamic vinegar laced "Strawberry Smash" cocktail.

This year's cold fronts and tousled weather conditions have lead to some pretty strange outcomes for our products, leaving me with a lot of citrus and not a lot of much else for an entire month to showcase in a cocktail.  We are turning towards the beginning of patio weather and the restaurant should any week now be filled with guests sitting outside enjoying our libations.  So I always try to get people excited for that by making something that would be patio friendly.  I decided to return to this honey beer cocktail but really wanted to use something other than gin, as I recently used that spirit line for my Catoctin Concoction.  I also really wanted to use a product not everyone is familiar with.  Bärenjäger, a German produced Honey liqueur, was one of the very first cordials I tried once coming of age.  The name itself translates to "Bear Hunter" and is a drink I haven't tested with since on of the very first cocktail recipes I ever wrote in my records.  I still absolutely love it!  It's smell and color is precise to that of wild honey and even coats your mouth to the same affect, but hits you with a warming spirit filled finish.  Truly remarkable stuff!

I really wanted to add this spirit to the original recipe and found that it goes hand in hand with peppery tequila.  By now, most know that tequila goes hand in hand with salt so this match was meant to happen.  Combined with lemon juice and a lighter style of beer, A Bit Mo' Honey was born!

When made correctly, this drink has a layered blend of sweet honey, tart lemon, peppery tequila, salt and refreshing Kölsch that blends together triumphantly.  If you haven't had a chance to enjoy one of these yet, I highly recommend taking a chance on a smart cocktail that proves that not  only are spirits great mixes with wine, aperitifs and sparkling wines, but they can be great combined with beer as well.


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