As fall settles in, citrus, honey, and herbs are starting to dominate the cocktail vibe. While it’s not quite hot toddy season yet, it’s veering pretty close. So we’re mixing up a favorite of mine this time of year, the Herbed Honey Smash.
The heart of this cocktail is a honeyed Highland whisky, Aberfeldy. The whisky is built to highlight honeyed hues in the glass, which makes it perfect for mixing honey and herbal cocktails this time of year.
This cocktail is bright, herbaceous, and full of single malt goodness. What more can you ask for as the leaves fall and rain pitter-patters outside? Let’s get shaking!
Herbed Honey Smash
Serves 1. Served in a rocks glass.
- 2-oz. Aberfeldy 12
- 1-oz. fresh lemon juice
- 2 barspoons fresh honey
- 4 fresh sage leaves
- Lemon peel
This really is an Aberfeldy cocktail. It’s meant to highlight honey which is a cornerstone of that whisky from the Highlands. I’d argue that you need to use some quality honey in this as well — maybe find something local. As for the single malt, I’m using Aberfeldy 12, which is a great cocktail base for this, hot toddies, and any great Scotch cocktail you can think of.
As for the rest, you just need fresh lemons and fresh sage, both of which you should be able to find easily.
What You’ll Need:
- Cocktail shaker
- Fine mesh strainer
- Hand juicer
- Fruit peeler
- Pairing knife
- Pre-chill your rocks glass in a freezer (preferably overnight).
- Build by adding the whisky and lemon juice to the shaker then add a handful of ice.
- Next, add the honey and sage leaves and another handful of ice (don’t add the honey and sage first, as it’ll get stuck to the bottom of the shaker).
- Affix the lid to the shaker and shake vigorously until the shaker is almost too cold to hold.
- Retrieve the rocks glass from the freezer and fill it with fresh ice.
- Fine-strain the cocktail into the glass.
- Peel a thumb of lemon peel and spritz the oils over the cocktail. Discard the peel.
- Garnish with a sprig of fresh sage and serve.
You really can’t beat this drink. The honey sweetness comes through but is countered by the oily nature of the sage, which screams “fall!”
The whisky shines through as a great conduit for the honey, lemon, and sage while still holding onto the single malt nature of the juice. It’s grainy, honeyed, and full of florals.
If you have the time this weekend, this is a win all around. Shake up a couple and enjoy those leaves falling.