Happy Friday! What’s a better way to celebrate the upcoming weekend than with a cocktail? I have to admit, while I’m definitely the cook in the relationship, Neal is the bartender. (We make a great team!)
That being said, my cocktail making skills are a little shaky at times. (He’s just too good at making them–he’s become an enabler, you know. Not making me practice my mixology and everything.)
So if you’re thinking that mixing up a fancy cocktail at home is over your head–this post is for you. (I assure you, it’s not as hard as it looks!) Because if I can do it–so can you!
This pretty yellow cocktail is called The Bee’s Knees–it’s bright and refreshing, with the perfect amount of sweetness. With only three ingredients–(gin, honey, lemon juice) it’s perfect for entertaining, too!
Fun fact: This cocktail dates back to the prohibition era, and the original intent of the honey to mask the smell of bathtub gin. Luckily though, gin has come a long way since then–and these days, that means it’s much more enjoyable to drink 😉
Speaking of, let’s talk more about gin for a second. I’m typically very picky when it comes to this particular spirit. (No pine trees for me, thank you!) I will assure you though, when you find the right gin, you’ll become a fanatic.
That, for me, happened when I visited CH Distillery (more on that in this post!) and the bartender mixed me up a gin cocktail (a gimlet, to be specific). I was blown away! Their “Key Gin” as they call it, is referred to as a “Gateway gin”–it sucks even the biggest gin haters into the ginosphere. (And trust me, you’ll never go back!) It has key lime, lavender, and a hint of white pepper–giving this classic cocktail an extra kick. That’s what inspired me to mix up my own batch of cocktails for some of my favorite ladies.
Kelly, Lauren, Maya, and I got together over at South Loop Loft for little gals gathering, and they were sweet enough to let me practice my bartending skills on them. (I use the term “skills” loosely…) Luckily I didn’t feel too bad about making them be my guinea pigs, because the cocktails turned out amazing!
When it comes to entertaining, I like to keep things as simple as possible. Why over complicate things when you don’t have to? I kept the nibbles as easy as the cocktails–so a meat and cheese plate is always my go-to. A wedge of parm, some soft goat cheese, crackers, salami, and grapes. It was the perfect combination with the tartness of the drink!
Okay, so, let’s get back on track here. We talked about the booze–what else do you need?
Lemon juice: This should be the real stuff, not out of a bottle! If Meyer lemons are in season, that’s even better, as they have a sweeter, less harsh taste. I can’t get enough of them!
Honey: Buy it at the farmer’s market, the grocery store, whatever! Because the honey is often much thicker than the gin and lemon juice, sometimes it doesn’t mix very well. A better alternative is to make a honey simple syrup prior to shaking up this cocktail. Just combine 3 parts honey to 1 part hot water, and stir until thoroughly mixed. Then, continue with the recipe!
If you live in Chicago and want to try out CH’s Key Gin for yourself, you can pick up all CH Distillery Spirits at the distillery itself, or at any Chicago liquor store or grocery store. (Binny’s, Mariano’s, etc.) Also, I’d highly recommend checking out the distillery itself! Head over to the CH Distillery Events page to see what fun things they’ve got going on.
Also, if you decide to try mixing up this cocktail for yourself, I want to see! Post it to Instagram and tag me (@jesskeys_) using the hashtag #CHHouseParty, or send it to me on Snap Chat (jesskeys11). Can’t wait to hear how you like it!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of CH Distillery, a Chicago brand and hot spot I absolutely adore. All opinions are 100% my own.