The Reason You Should Be Adding Honey To Your Cocktails

Nothing beats that moment when your lips first touch the glass of your favorite cocktail and you proceed to take your first sip. Synonymous with celebration, it's common practice to toast the good times and commemorate the bad with a cocktail that truly moves your soul — something that can be traced back to the Golden Age of Cocktails. According to NPR, some of the most inventive cocktails were created between the 1860s and Prohibition (a relatively interesting time in US history for cocktails itself).

Southern Living states that drinks like the Bee's Knees require honey because of how well the natural sweetener blends in with the alcohol and the other ingredients. Not only does honey enhance the flavor and smoothness of drinks, but it can also make them a little healthier, according to Thyme is Honey. Switching out sugary simple syrups and pre-made mixes with honey can be incredibly beneficial, as you are able to increase the level of hydration you get from cocktails, and in turn, minimize hangovers (#yes).

What makes honey so good in cocktails?

Your drink will actually taste better when made with honey compared to regular sugar because of the ingredient's ability to add subtle flavors that will make your cocktail more complex, according to Serious Eats. Frank Caiafa, a beverage manager at the Waldorf Astoria in New York, shared with Esquire that he likes to include at least one cocktail that calls for honey in the recipe on the drink list at all times. Caiafa revealed that he likes the texture (or viscosity) that honey adds to cocktails, saying it's thicker than simple syrup, making it a great alternative. Master mixologist Kim Haasarud shared with Tales of the Cocktail that experimenting with different types of honey opened up a whole world of possibilities for her, stating that she had always prepared classic cocktails using honey, but the moment she really dug into experimenting with different varietals and gins "Pandora's box" was opened.

But it's not a "one honey fits all" philosophy when it comes to making cocktails. Different kinds of honey bring out different flavor profiles. According to Serious Eats, clover honey is soft and subtle, making it a great choice if your recipe doesn't call for a particular honey; while varietals like blueberry honey pair well with recipes like the gin-based French 75, and buckwheat honey pairs well with rum, bourbon, and even scotch.