Aberfeldy x Bees = One Honey of a Win
Famed whiskeymongers help the bees (and you) keep a buzz on
By Wayne Alan Brenner,
10:00AM, Sat. Aug. 15, 2020
“Ah, time to start tearin’ apart the old Hive Heart,” as a character in The Intergalactic Nemesis once said, is not something you want to hear on National Honey Bee Day, not when that day is all about celebrating Apis mellifera and their important fuzzy-legged industry.
And that day is today, to be specific – August 15th – so we won’t be repeating that contentious bit of dialogue again. But we will tell you that there’s a component of this National Honey Bee Day that has to do with single malt scotch.
No, hold on, the bees aren’t drinking your damn stash, citizen, so please stand down. Rather, the whiskey distillers at Scotland's Aberfeldy (founded back in 1898 by those smooth-drinkin’ Dewar Brothers) have joined with national nonprofit Bees Informed Partnership to connect local beekeepers and bartenders in eight major cities – and Austin is one of those cities.
Starting today and continuing throughout the month of September (in honor of National Honey Month), Austin beekeeper Tara Chapman of Two Hives Honey will be working alongside bartenders from Rosedale Kitchen & Bar, Fairmont Austin, and Little Brother, to plant and maintain a community garden-style bee sanctuary. To further support this critical work, Aberfeldy will also donate $10,000 to BIP in conjunction with their Gardening Giveback Project, which’ll be used to provide local beekeepers with the most up-to-date research and resources required to protect the honey bee population.
And why are they doing this, those booze wizards of Aberfeldy? For the good feels associated with philanthropy, for one thing; and for the fine publicity (hey, you’re soaking in it) that accompanies such a community-enriching endeavor, for another. But also: Who doesn’t know by now how very well whiskey – especially single malt scotch, we’d insist – can be used in honey-enhanced cocktails? See, you already knew that, right?
And that’s why each of the bartenders’ locally grown ingredients like basil, mint and, naturally, honey are parts of a new cocktail dubbed the Herbed Honey Smash, which can be purchased to-go or enjoyed from a safe, social distance at those three bars we mentioned above.
Or, in case you’re in hella lockdown mode right now and would rather mix up one of those amber liquid beauties at home, well, here’s the recipe for you:
HERBED HONEY SMASH COCKTAIL
Ingredients:2 oz. Aberfeldy 12 Single Malt Scotch
1.5 oz. lemon juice (or about half a lemon, squeezed)
1 oz. honey syrup (that’s 100g of honey and 64g water; stir and leave to chill. Note: syrup will only last three days)
4-6 leaves of a soft herb (basil, mint, tarragon, etc.)
Method: Put all the ingredients in a shaker tin. Add a bunch of ice. Shake vigorously, then strain with a fine mesh into a small rocks glass filled with more ice. Garnish with your fresh herb of choice and enjoy.
And, in case you didn’t realize it, the proper cheer before imbibing this fine honeyed tipple is “Buzz, buzz, sláinte!”
You got that, whiskey lover? Buzz, buzz, sláinte!
[Note: Yeah, we just made that shit up. But it’s totally fun, isn’t it?]
Now go forth and bee slaked.
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