From marinades and dressings to drinks and desserts, honey has a million delicious uses. It’s a great alternative to sugar syrup in cocktails as it gives a richer, more complex sweetness. To celebrate National Honey Week (23-29 October), we’ve rounded up some of London’s best honey cocktails – guaranteed to give you a buzz this autumn.
From business lunches to romantic sunset suppers, Aviary is always a good idea. It might be too chilly to hang out on their roof terrace but you can still enjoy the view of the City skyline from inside at the bar. If you like your drinks long and fruity, you’ll love the Honey Rider – a blend of Tanqueray gin, crème de mure, honey, mead, blackberries, and thyme.
To celebrate National Honey Week, Canary Wharf’s latest sky-high restaurant has launched the Bokan B, made with honey from Bokan’s own hive on the roof. It’s made with gin, lemon juice, Cointreau, an absinthe rinse and honeycomb foam – you’re definitely going to want more than one.
After dinner at The Cinnamon Club, why not retire to the Library Bar for a cocktail or two? You can sample signature drinks like their Cinnamon Bellini or try something a little different, like the For Bees Sake – a zingy blend of pisco, honey, lemon, camomile, turmeric and apple.
With Bala Baya, ex-Ottolenghi chef Eran Tibi has brought a taste of Tel Aviv to London. At his buzzy all-day eatery in Southwark, you can pop in for brunch, grab lunch for less than a tenner, or linger over dishes that are fragrant with spice and citrus. The cocktails are good, too – try a refreshing Basil & Mint Sour or the Honey & Smoke, made with whiskey, hickory smoked honey, and white truffle.
Whether you’ve got a hot date lined up or a birthday to celebrate, a visit to Sky Garden never fails to impress. After touring the landscaped gardens and taking a few selfies, you can kick back with a cocktail and enjoy the spectacular views of the London skyline. We like the Veranda 35, made with sloe gin, honey liqueur, prosecco and peach essence. Why not make a night of it and dine nearby at MBER, Gaucho, or Blacklock City?
This drink is steeped in history – it was created during the Prohibition era to make the bitter bathtub gin more palatable. At London Cocktail Club, JJ Goodman and his team make it with Bombay Sapphire, fresh lemon juice, and spiced honey syrup. They’ve got nine bars across London, including a new-ish Liverpool Street bar which is very handy for drinks before dinner at Cinnamon Kitchen, Som Saa or Gunpowder.
The 3rd floor of St Ermin’s Hotel is home to some very special guests – 350,000 Buckfast honey bees! They produce an amber coloured honey with a floral flavour that the Caxton Bar team use in a range of bee-themed cocktails. Choose from a Honeytrap mocktail, a Whisky Hive, or our personal favourite, the Royal Bee Zest, which is made with gin, ginger, limoncello, lemon, ginger beer, and honey.
Looking for something different? Check out these London restaurants where the cocktails are as good as the food.
Photo Credit: London Cocktail Club – Sean Ware. All other images supplied by the venues.