Introduction: Aged Honey Lemon - Throat Comfort/Flu Tea & Mixed Drink Base
It's well known that Honey and Lemon are good for you in fighting back symptoms of a cold or sore throat. Unfortunately it is a slightly annoying process to have to mix up a cup of honey lemon tea when you already feel like junk.
ENJOY IT --- As a tea or as a great mixed drink base for whiskey or vodka
Empty Bottle (Preferably with Swing Cap)
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
Literally easiest step. Make sure you gathered the supplies listed above.
If your honey has crystalized, you can liquify it by putting the bottle in a pot of previously boiling water. This goes for both plastic bottles and glass.
- Yes, if it is a plastic bottle it will experience some heat warping but once you've reheated it this way it will stay liquified for at least a couple months.
- No, I don't recommend just throwing it in the microwave. This will not only degrade the quality of the honey, you will likely cause even greater warping and possibly compromise the integrity of a plastic bottle.
- With glass, let it sit on the stove and naturally come down to temperature. Use an appropriate hot glove to handle the bottle if you don't want to wait for it to cool and keep making the honey lemon.
- DO NOT put the glass bottle under a cold sink faucet to cool it down. This risks shocking and breaking the bottle. You can literally just let it sit on the stove to cool.
Step 2: Measure Your Ingredients
Over the past couple years, the best ratio is 2:1 or 2.5:1 Lemon Juice to Honey. For this new bottle, I used 1 Cup of Honey and 2.5 Cups of Lemon Juice.
The reason I've landed on these ratios are a combination of the size of bottle used and the fact that a 1:1 or even 1.5:1 ratio has the honey being a bit too strong for my liking. (I also like a good whiskey sour.)
Step 3: Shake It Up and Let It Age...
Typically - If you happened to use honey that was more the normal maple syrup slow pour consistency you will have the clear separation as seen above even if it has been shaken. That said, you shouldn't be looking to use this for a same-day remedy or cocktail base.
Non-Typical - Not all of my Honey Lemons mix as readily as this batch did but I also had reheated crystalized honey to free flowing liquid state. This allowed for a quick premix and technically could be used right away but to a degree, the honey will settle since it is more readily cooled by the lemon juice.
Why Age It?
- First off you're making this more as a future need pre-mix for when you feel a sore throat or cold coming on or happen to want a whiskey sour and happen to have some carbonated water lying around
- Secondly, the acid of the lemon juice will slowly break down the natural composition of the honey yet preserve all of it's health benefits.
Step 4: Make Yourself a Tea or Cocktail - Enjoy!
Gather what you need based on how you're feeling. Obviously you substitute the bourbon and lemon lime soda in the above for hot water to soothe your throat.
Authors Note: What if I use a honey that is not titled "Wildflower" or "Clover"?
- Honey comes in dozens/hundreds of varieties. It's 100% based on if you have access to specialty honey or not. The vast majority of grocery store honey falls under the "wildflower" or "clover" variety as it is just that bees were placed in an area, collected nectar from the flowering plants in that area and at the factory everything was just blended together into a big vat.
- Specialty Honey - ex. Orange Blossom; Buckwheat; Strawberry; Watermelon; Almond; Alfalfa - Results from the bees being strategically positioned next to a field of blossoming plants/trees and the honey is relatively quickly retrieved and processed before the bees have the chance to head to a new food source. These honeys will literally take on the flavor profile of the plant that the nectar was predominantly harvested from.
Using specialty honey in your aged honey lemon will have that lingering flavor profile as an undertone. In the case of using lighter profile honey like watermelon or orange blossom, consider reducing the ratio of lemon to honey to no greater than 2:1. If using a stronger profile honey like buckwheat (as I used for my cocktail base in the picture) you can easily do a 2.5:1 to 3:1 lemon to honey ratio.
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