honeybee’s knees

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Prep Time:
5 minutes + chill time for syrup

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bees knees bee's knees

I’m ready to settle in with two of my favorite things: a good book and a good drink. The book is a memoir called The Honey Bus by my friend Meredith May, and it stars honeybees as the architects of change and salvation (along with an amazing grandfather). So why not enjoy it with a variation on Bee’s Knees, the classic gin and honey cocktail? I like mine with bourbon or rye, which makes this a lot like a whisky sour, but if gin is your thing, use it. Honey syrup is easy to make and can be used instead of simple syrup in just about anything.

Now, back to the book. Meredith started writing it almost 8 years ago (makes me feel less bad about the book I’ve been trying to write for 5 years). She went one direction then the next before she found her true story line, much like bees go this way and that to find the good nectar. It is set in and around the Big Sur coast and the writing is warm and real and beautiful. For years I have admired Meredith (she used to work at the Chronicle with Sam) and now that I am reading her book, I am in awe. It’s always a thrill when a friend publishes a book. But when a friend publishes a truly great book? I’ll drink to that.

NOTE: if you are interested in writing a cookbook (which is not what Meredith’s book is), I am teaching a course on that very topic at Stanford Continuing Studies this summer. You can read the full description here; registration starts May 20. Email me if you have questions.
How to Write a Cookbook and Strategies for Getting It Published starting June 27 at Stanford Continuing Studies

2 oz. bourbon, rye, whisky or gin
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 oz. honey syrup (see below)
ice cubes
lemon slice

In a cocktail glass, stir together booze, lemon juice, and honey syrup. Add ice cubes and garnish with lemon slice. Drink up.

honey syrup: in a measuring cup, combine 1/4 cup honey and 1/4 cup hot water. Microwave for 30 seconds then stir until blended (or combine honey and water in a small pot and heat on the stove, stirring until hot). Chill until cold. Keeps, in a jar, for 2 weeks or more.