What to drink this weekend: Bee's Nectar

It's been over a year since I wrote my last piece for Mother Nature Network, the website that started my path to writing about wine. For a while, I wrote a weekly feature for the website on Friday's titled "What to drink this weekend."

Imagine having cart blanche to write about any drink you wanted. I had that on MNN, and often I'd work with what I had in my liquor cabinet, my fridge and my back yard to create cocktails.

I'm bringing the feature back and putting it here on Wine and Wonder. Sometimes my suggestion will be a wine or a wine cocktail, but frequently it won't be. I'll also be bringing some of those cocktails I created for MNN back to life here. Today, that's what I'm doing.

If you have access to honeysuckle, preferably from vines that haven't been sprayed with pesticides, it's easy to make honeysuckle syrup, a type of simple syrup, to use in place of honey syrup in a Bee's Knees cocktail. I have the vine growing on my fence, and on a warm night, the aroma is intoxicating.

Clever me, considering the fact that bees take nectar from honeysuckle, I've named this cocktail that switches out honey syrup for honeysuckle syrup the Bee's Nectar.

This simple cocktail is refreshing on a warm night, and for some reason, people think you're a brilliant mixologist when you tell then you made your own honeysuckle syrup.

Bee's Knee's Cocktail


  • Measuring cup or jiggers

  • Cocktail shaker

  • Ice

  • Martini glass or coupe glass


  • 2.5 oz gin

  • 3/4 oz honeysuckle simply syrup (see directions below)

  • 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice


Place all ingredients in a shaker full of ice, shake until well chilled, and pour into glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge if desired.

Honeysuckle Syrup


  • 1 cup water

  • 1/2 cup packed honeysuckle blossoms - as fresh as possible (once they start to yellow they get a bit bitter)

  • 1/2 cup sugar


  1. Pick through the blossoms and make sure there are no leaves. Place all ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Stir.

  2. Once sugar is completely dissolved, remove from heat and allow to steep, keeping an eye on it until blossoms begin to brown.

  3. Pour the syrup through a sieve into a bottle and refrigerate for up to one week.

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