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HOME Cooked Spring Recipes: The Bee's Knees

My landlords recently installed a new swarm of bees in our backyard, directly next to the raspberry bushes and just north of the raised veggie beds. Now, I don’t know much about bees but I learned a thing or two that day, including that, by July, those 4,000 initiates should have turned into a colony 10,000 strong.

We haven’t harvested our first crop of honey yet—that’s on tap for July, too—but now that it’s warming up outside and the bees are coming and going with abandon, summer doesn’t seem so far off. In fact, this recipe will be the last HOME Cooked of the season, as we get ready to relaunch the summer-centric CSA Cookoff, HOMEGROWN’s weekly recipe file devoted to what to do with all your farm share goodies. The bee’s knees, a cocktail made with lavender-infused honey, seemed like just the way to toast the transition from spring to summer.

One note: If you’re not a tippler or if you’re pouring for a pint-sized crowd, you could mix the lavender-honey syrup below with equal parts fresh lemon juice for one seriously good honey lemonade. Either way, cheers to summer!

Makes 2 drinks

» ¼ cup hot water
» 1 tsp dried lavender blossoms
» ¼ cup honey
» 6 Tbsp gin (cheapish is fine; this drink dates back to Prohibition and reportedly was created to help mask the flavor of bathtub gin)
» 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
» ice cubes

Combine the hot water and the dried lavender blossoms in a bowl. Steep 5 minutes. Whisk in the honey. Strain into a cocktail shaker then add the gin, lemon juice, and ice. Shake well and pour. Purists might like this straight up, but between the honey and the lavender, this drink is no wallflower. Serving it on the rocks mellows it out a bit—and makes it last longer. If only we could do the same for summer.

CSA Cookoff returns soon with all new farm-share-friendly dishes. In the meantime, browse spring recipes in HOME Cooked and post your own favorites in the Recipe Sharing group. Got another favorite use, drink or otherwise, for honey? Post a comment below and share the sweet news.

Views: 271

Comment by Michelle Wire on May 31, 2013 at 10:07am

Yum! I am trying this tomorrow, on my front porch while I swelter in the sun:)

Comment by Jennifer on May 31, 2013 at 10:21am

Michelle: It was great last night on the patio with grilled pizza—a much-needed antidote to the 90-degree heat that suddenly showed up out of nowhere.


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