[Photograph: Marcia Simmons]
Sugar gets all the attention when it comes to sweetening cocktails, but a homemade honey liqueur will give an exotic new flavor to your drinks.
Notes: Honey’s flavor varies greatly depending on the type and region. Clover honey is the mildest and most common variety and is sold in most grocery stores. Taste whichever honey you use first to decide if you want to use additional flavors like orange zest and cinnamon when making the syrup. The proportions in this recipe were developed for use with vodka. But if you would like to substitute another spirit such as bourbon or rum, you may want to use slightly less honey to adjust for the spirit’s natural sweet flavor.
Read more: DIY vs. Buy: How to Make Honey Liqueur
- Yield:Makes about 2 1/4 cups
- Total time:12 hours
- 2/3 cup honey
- 1/2 cup water
- 1-inch piece of orange zest, pith removed (optional)
- 1 stick cinnamon (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups vodka
Cook the honey, water, orange zest, and cinnamon over medium heat stirring frequently, until it is integrated into a syrup, about 5 minutes. Let cool, with the orange zest and cinnamon still in the pot. Scrape off any white foam.
Once the syrup has cooled, remove the zest and cinnamon. Then combine the honey syrup and vodka in a sealable glass jar, seal, and shake. Serve immediately, or for better flavor, allow to rest for a minimum of 12 hours. Store at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.