Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Bee's Knees

With World Gin Day almost upon us, now seems like an appropriate time to dig out a few gin recipes. Can't recall how I arrived at this old school concoction, but I know coming home from Esperance with a jar of local Protea honey and an abundance of lemons had something to do with it. If possible, I'd stick with a higher proof gin. The honey and lemon in this drink are feisty characters and I think the extra oomph helps keep them in line. Incidentally, this is the first all West Australian cocktail I've featured. Easy enough as there's only one form of alcohol in there I suppose, but thinking out loud for a sec: wouldn't it be great if there were more 100 per cent West Australian cocktails around the traps?

The Bee's Knees
(Adapted from a recipe by Erik Adkins of Slanted Door published in the San Francisco Chronicle)

60ml The West Winds The Cutlass (or any high proof London Dry Gin)
22.5ml fresh-squeezed lemon juice
22.5ml Protea honey syrup1

Combine ingredients2 in an ice-filled mixing glass and shake for 15 seconds. Strain and serve up in a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a flamed lemon twist.

1 To make honey syrup, combine equal parts honey and hot water. I find it easier to add the honey to the hot water rather than vice versa, but whatever works. Refrigerate before use.

2 There's latitude to make this cocktail as sweet or as sour as you like. For mine, equal parts honey syrup and lemon juice makes for a drink a little on the sugary side. Adjusting with an extra quarter ounce of lemon juice did the trick, but you might like it as is. Balance really is a personal thing and, without getting too wanky about it, the variety of lemons and honey you're using will come into play, too: there's a marked difference between the tart juice of a bush lemon and the musky, floral liquid produced by juicing a Meyer lemon. Kill all that noise, yo. Thanks to my man Darren at Yet Another Foodie Blog, I won't be deviating from the bush lemon (or at least non-Meyer lemon) path when it comes to mixing drinks. That extra zip in the bush lemon juice snapped The Bee's Knees back into lip-smacking balance. Thanks for the heads up, chief.

And just because I want to, here's a link to an excellent local artist I heard on the radio today. "Tired" is one heck of a listen.