So, for another week or so, it’s National Honey Month. Who knew?
The good folks at Aberfeldy Single Malt are in on the secret. Which, given the flavor profile of the scotch, makes sense. Founded in 1898 by two sons of John Dewar himself, the distillery draws from the same Pitilie Burn water source, and the Highland bottling’s long fermentation leads to an unctuous and smooth scotch, with unmistakable honey notes.
Last month, the Bacardi-owned brand announced a Gardening Giveback Project, in collaboration with Bee Informed Partnership (BIP), a non-profit working with beekeepers across the country to improve honey bee colony health. Aberfeldy bills the initiative as part of its Barrels and Bees program, which supports beekeepers by partnering with them to feature their honey as a cocktail ingredient. The Gardening Giveback Project has helped beekeepers and bartenders across the U.S. to plant community garden-style bee sanctuaries filled with stuff bees like, which is also stuff that makes for good garnishes. Aberfeldy has also committed to a $10,000 donation to BIP to help support beekeepers.
I was skeptical of the “Herbed Honey Smash,” the “celebratory cocktail” they suggested to commemorate all this; there’s so much honey on the palate of the scotch itself that I feared adding the actual stuff would prove a cloying mix. But the thing is delicious—a riff on the Penicillin, I’d say, and just the warm, bright cocktail to usher us cozily into autumn. You can get all the ingredients delivered via Reserve Bar or whip it up yourself. The last of my summer garden’s basil and mint did the trick for me.
Herbed Honey Smash Cocktail
2 oz Aberfeldy 12 Single Malt Scotch
1.5 oz lemon juice (about half a lemon squeezed)
1 oz honey syrup (100g of honey and 64g water, stirred and allowed to chill.)
4-6 leaves of soft herb (basil, mint, tarragon, etc.)
Add all ingredients to a shaker tin with ice. Shake vigorously and strain using a fine mesh strainer into a small rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with your fresh herb of choice and enjoy!