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Local Libations: Autumn Honey Love

2010 October 15

by Kat Durant

Sarah’s Herb Roasted Chicken made me think of comfy nights kicking back with some logs in the fireplace and watching Madmen with friends. It made me forget that just yesterday I was running my A/C and wearing my shorts (really!), I’m using this fall nostalgia as an opportunity to introduce my latest passion into the relay: Bourbon. It’s an obsession really, as in: it’s all I talk about and all I want to drink (I try to keep quiet while I am at work!). Bourbon is a type of American Whiskey and my new favorite couldn’t be more American: Basil Hayden. It’s a smaller batch whiskey made by the king of whiskey’s – Jim Beam.  Basil Hayden is made with extra rye and tastes peppery and spicy with a clean finish.

I wanted to make a drink that would incorporate the tastes of fall captured by Sarah’s roast chicken and purée.  I was inspired by a cocktail from  a list of Basil Hayden recipes, called the Honey Love, that did just that.  It’s a spicy warming drink that calls for bourbon, Cointreau (citrus liqueur), honey, lemon and egg whites. Sounds weird but tastes great! I adapted the recipe to fit with what I could find locally; I’m calling it the Autumn Honey Love.  In addition to bourbon I decided to use Grand Marnier a lemon from my neighbor’s yard (one of the perks of living in California, NYC eat your heart out!), an organic egg, and local San Diego sage honey.

The Bourbon gives you that warm fuzzy feeling as it goes down making the Autumn Honey Love well balanced, not too lemony or too sweet.  I used a unique ice cube for this drink: a big sphere of ice.  Spheres of ice are amazing because the reduced surface area causes the ice to melt at a slower pace, keeping your drink from getting watery too quickly.  The molds for these ice spheres are available at the MoMA Design Store or if you are feeling REALLY serious about your ice spheres check out the Japan Trend Shop.

This drink is garnished with grated cinnamon which sits nicely atop the dome of the ice, so it’s aroma is the first thing that hits your nose as you lift the glass.  The original recipe called for honey-syrup but I used a thick sage honey that I found for sale down the street from Brianna’s house. There was also an orange honey available but it seemed too sweet to mix with Grand Marnier. The sage honey was a also perfect compliment to Sarah’s dish. The delightful thing about using a sticky thick honey rather than a watered down honey-syrup is that the coolness of the drink allowed the honey to settle to the bottom, lending it a dessert-like quality with a sweet finish that keeps you licking your lips after the drink is gone.

Autumn Honey Love

Prep time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1 serving

Tools: Lemon juicer, pint glass, shaker, shot glass and bar strainer


  • 1 egg white
  • 1 1/2 oz. Basil Hayden bourbon
  • 3/4 oz. Grand Marnier
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 oz. honey
  • ice

Cooking Directions

  1. Strain the egg white into a pint glass or cocktail shaker
  2. Add 1 1/2 oz of Basil Hayden Bourbon, 3/4 oz of Grand Marnier, 1/2 of lemon juice and 1/2 oz of honey
  3. Cover pint glass with shaker and shake vigorously!
  4. Pour into a tumbler over spherical ice (or regular ice cubes if you must).
  5. Garnish with freshly grated cinnamon.
  6. Cheers!