Honey is a pretty unique ingredient, all things considered.
It’s a naturally sweet substance that can be used in pretty much any kind of meal or recipe that you can think of.
Of course, it’s great in desserts, but it’s also a great sweetener if your main course idea needs something to perk it up a little, or even to help make your appetizer something special.
And that’s not even touching on what it can do for a drink and beverage.
However, when it comes to drink recipes, we very rarely seem to find solid recipes for drinks that use honey, especially in cocktails, a type of recipe that you’d assume would benefit from the sweet flavor of honey.
But instead, many recipes seem to use simple syrups or even just straight-up sugar in their ingredients.
And while that’s fine, we can’t help but feel that this is a waste of potential on both sides.
So, we’ve compiled a list of the best cocktail recipes that use honey as a key ingredient, to help showcase what this natural sweetening agent can do for our cocktails!
Starting this list with what might be the most well-known honey cocktail out there, we have a drink that does earn its name as the bee’s knees!
Idiom-inspired names aside, there’s a lot to love about this cocktail and makes it the perfect drink to whip up for yourself during a hot summer’s day.
With the sweetness of the honey balanced by the sour lemon zest and juice, this drink packs a punch!
Tequila and honey together? It’s more likely than you think!
With both sweet honey syrup and tart citrus, this tequila drink is a perfect summer cocktail!
This drink is best served in a tall glass, where the honey syrup, the reposado tequila, and lime juice can be easily blended with a long bar spoon, creating the perfect blend for your taste buds!
While many daiquiris often use sugar to get the sweet flavor that they’re looking for, we find that this recipe’s suggestion of using honey instead works just as well!
Make sure that you have an equally strong rum to counter the even sweeter favors that honey brings to the table!
This particular riff on the Lion’s Tail cocktail has a noticeably stronger citrus presence in its taste, as well as a little more sweetness, thanks to nature’s favorite nectar!
(Aside from, you know, nectar…)
Make sure that all your ingredients are well mixed in the shaker, and serve this drink on the rocks with a little slice of lemon, for that extra citrus punch to your senses!
There are no fools to be found in this gold rush recipe. Everyone who gets to try this drink is a winner in our eyes!
You’ll notice that this recipe bears a lot in common with the Bee’s Knees recipe we covered.
Only here, you’re using bourbon instead of gin, creating a unique cocktail that is deeper and smokier in its flavor than other drinks like it.
6. Fallen Leaf
Honey and ginger is a pretty great flavor combination that warms the belly and heart on a cold winter’s day.
This cocktail gets that same warm sensation, only this time using a little ginger liqueur for that little extra heat, combined with lemon peel and cinnamon for that extra little zesty taste.
7. Air Mail
This is a beautifully light drink that is full of fizzy champagne, and well-aged rum, coming together to make a dish that is as sweet as it is invigorating, thanks to both the lemon and the honey syrups that this recipe has.
Lemon and honey just seem to be a perfect match for their other flavors, don’t they?
Combining these flavors with some apple brandy, some rum, and a little ginger, you have a pretty nice cocktail on your hands!
And we can’t guarantee that this drink will cure any ailments you have, you’ll have a drink that’ll feel like it perks you right up!
We’ve talked about the Bee’s Knees cocktail already, but you may find that the base drink is a little… cold, all things considered. No spiciness to it, you know?
Using some spicy honey syrup instead, this drink is perfect for bringing a little heat to your taste buds!
10. Eau De Lavender
Tequila and honey syrup is a pretty popular combination tool, it seems.
This particular cocktail, with its honeyed tequila and citrus flavors, combined with a hint of lavender and a frothy top, makes this the perfect classy tequila drink to try!
11. Anything Else
You very rarely seem to find many IPA cocktail recipes it feels like. Perhaps it’s the bitter taste that makes it hard to deal with.
However, this particular cocktail recipe, with its sweet honey syrup, bitter Italian red liqueur, and some sour lemon, makes this particular cocktail the perfect bitter drink to have on the rocks.
Just make sure that there’s enough honey in there to counter the bitter flavors!
A beer cocktail that has honey in it? Why didn’t we think of this before?
The bitter Italian liqueur and tart citrus flavors help balance out the ingredient list for this drink, making it just the right amount of zesty when drunk!
With bourbon, apple bitter, and honey syrup being the only ingredients that this recipe needs, you’ll find that this 3-ingredient cocktail is the perfect simple drink to whip up for your or a friend.
Plus, we may have found one of our first honey cocktails that don’t use lemon or lime as well. How about that!
14. Honey Mojitos
Of course, we couldn’t stay away from the sour citrus flavors for long!
Mojitos are arguably the king of cocktails, so you’d better believe that there are a few recipes that use honey in them for an extra sweet surprise!
Make sure that you have plenty of mint oil or leaves to get that distinct minty flavor. You don’t want the honey to be too overpowering and sweet, after all!
Frequently Answered Questions
You may come across some honey cocktail recipes online that label themselves as vegan-friendly.
However, considering that honey is usually a major ingredient, this might confuse a lot of people, especially vegans that just want to find a good cocktail recipe!
How can a recipe be vegan-friendly if it is using honey?
Technically speaking, this is an understandable point of contention.
Vegans will generally refuse to use or eat products that require the use and/or exploitation of animals, from meat to eggs, to milk, due to the idea that sourcing these animal products are cruel to the animal itself.
So, by this very simple metric, you could technically class honey as a non-vegan product.
However, there is room for nuance in this discussion, and how exactly bees make honey is a very complicated subject.
Anyone who has owned bees for an extended period will likely know just how difficult it is to look after a hive.
Bees generally can only produce excess amounts of honey when they are in a stable environment that can provide for a hive’s needs.
Bees that are mistreated simply just don’t produce that much honey to meet demand, so beekeepers often have to provide their hives with all their needs in terms of nutrients and housing.
With this in mind, it’s very easy to argue that bee hives are not mistreated.
But also very crucially, bee hives have been known to fly away from beekeeper owners that mistreat them.
After all, there’s nothing stopping bees from staying in a hive is there?
As a result, beekeepers HAVE to treat their bees well, for them to even stay in the first place!
So, generally speaking, you can also argue that honey is one of the few animal products that can be classed as vegan-friendly, although you may want to check where your honey is sourced from before purchasing it.
So, honey might be vegan friendly it turns out, but is it healthy?
Well, honey does generally contain small amounts of iron and vitamin C in it, making it slightly healthier than simply raw sugar granules, as well as having a slightly lower effect on your blood sugar levels.
There is also research that suggests that limited amounts of honey in your diet can act as an antidepressant, ad help people who struggle with anxiety.
However, honey is still food that is incredibly rich in sugar, so these extra health benefits are often offset by its links to diabetes and increased blood pressure, and that’s not even discussing its effect on your teeth!
In short, make sure that honey stays as a small treat in your diet, and nothing more!
So, there you have it!
With so many honey recipes to try, the only question you’ll be left with is which one you’ll try first!