The Honey B Smash

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! The unofficial start to summer is starting off a bit rainy here in the south, but we make do by drinking colorful cocktails indoors. I also feel a bit ill-prepared for this summer season and would rather continue living my life in leggings, a sweatshirt, and full-powered AC for a few more weeks. Who needs shorts and sundresses and bare shoulders? You can find me snuggled into the couch, binging on Wild Wild Country with a blanket on my toes, a cold cocktail in my hand, and happy as can be for the rest of May.

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Recognizing that I am the odd-ball in my Memorial Day celebrations, I will pretend that I am fully adjusted to North Carolina summers and present to you a fruity summer beverage! I always lean in to fruit-forward drinks during the warmer months and anything with a berry or a ton of lime will always get my attention.

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This little concoction is lovingly called the Honey B Smash. The B represents blackberries and bourbon. Blackberries are some of my favorite summer treats because they can make your mouth pucker up just in the slightest and then finish off sweet. They can also hold their own in a cocktail and compete with other flavors without getting lost. Bourbon is a great liquor to use here because it has vanilla and caramel notes, which compliment the tart berries. I also mellow out the cocktail with some honey simple syrup. I prefer honey simple syrup here over a granulated sugar-based one because we are using bourbon. I think you get a more complex flavor rather than just added sweetness!

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The trick to this cocktail is the combination of muddled fruit and stirred liquor. First, you want to slice up some thin rounds of lime for each glass and place them in the bottom with a few mint leaves and whole blackberries. Then use a muddler or the back of a wooden spoon to crush the berries into the leaves and lime slices. Muddle until the berries are just broken down, but do not crush the mint into little pieces. We just want to release some of the juices from the fruits and really smell that mint. Then in a separate glass, you want to combine the honey simple syrup and bourbon with ice and stir for 10 seconds or until the glass is cold. Add crushed ice over your muddled fruit and then pour in your liquor mixture! And yes, please please please crush your ice. This is a smash after all. Lastly, add a lime round and mint leaf and you have the perfect Honey B Smash.

As a note – I do not strain my blackberries and I leave the muddled fruit in the bottom of the glass because I prefer it this way and do not find the few seeds that may come through to be unappealing. If you absolutely HATE berry seeds, you can strain out the liquid from your muddled berry/mint/lime mixture and just use that in combination with the honey and bourbon.

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Total Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 2 (can easily be adjusted for more)

Ingredients:

  • Handful of blackberries
  • 2 limes
  • 1 bunch mint leaves
  • 4 ounces bourbon
  • 2 ounces honey simple syrup*
  • Crushed ice

Instructions:

*See note at bottom about making your own honey simple syrup before you begin creating your cocktail.

Slice six rounds of lime and place three in the bottom of each glass. Add 4-5 blackberries and 2-3 mint leaves on top. Lightly smash/muddle the fruit and leaves together until the berries are just broken down. Fill glasses with crushed ice. Set aside.

Mix two ounces of honey simple syrup and four ounces of bourbon in a separate glass with ice and stir for 10 seconds or until the glass is very cold. Strain the liquor mixture into your prepared glasses of fruit and ice. Garnish with a squeeze of lime juice, a lime round, and a mint leave. Do a little stir, suck it down, and feel refreshed enough to make another!

*I make my own honey simple syrup and it stores in the fridge for about one month. I usually make one cup at a time and combine 1/2 cup good-quality honey and 1/2 cup water. Any 1:1: ratio works so you can scale up or down as needed. Set the mixture on top of the stove and stir until hot. Remove when the mixture is completely liquid. Do not allow it to boil, you only want to heat everything up. Then, set aside to cool before adding into your cocktails and store remaining liquid in the fridge. This same process can be used with white granulated sugar to make a regular simple syrup.

 

The Salty Dog

Alright, ya’ll. Here we are! Blue Juniper is a reality! Welcome welcome welcome. To start, please visit the About Us page to learn more about your hosts. We are just your average, wedded set of humans trying to get through life on a cocktail buzz. It has been a journey to get here and I am thrilled to share our first recipe!

This first cocktail is a simple, yet classic, drink that gets us through those Friday evenings where there is no food in the house and we end up eating a meal of chips, guac, and sliced cheese.

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The Salty Dog is grapefruit, vodka, and a salted rim. Quick, simple, and to the point. I like to add some fresh herbs if I have any, but this is certainly not necessary. We love this cocktail because it is not super sweet and takes just a few minutes to pull together. You can add some simple syrup if you need some extra sugar, but I say embrace the tart!

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Total Time: 5 minutes

Serves: 2 (can easily be adjusted for more)

Ingredients:

  • Juice from 3 freshly squeezed grapefruits
  • 4 ounces vodka (I use Method + Standard from North Carolina)
  • Salt for the rim, preferably sea salt
  • 2 slices of grapefruit
  • Crushed ice

Instructions:

Squeeze three, ripe grapefruits into your shaker. Add four ounces of vodka (or more/less depending on your preferences) along with one cup of ice. Shake well for 10 seconds. Dip your glasses in grapefruit juice or water to wet the rim and then place in a shallow dish of salt to coat. Add crushed ice to each glass and top with strained mix from shaker. Cut your grapefruit slice garnishes and there you have it! The Salty Dog – perfect for lazy summer evenings and a meal made from snacks.

 

CONTENT COMING SOON

Are you ready to booze it up this summer? Looking for that quick cocktail to throw together for a backyard gathering or something to sip on for the new season of the Bachelorette? Well then… in the words of Becca K. – LET’S DO THE DAMN THING.

Check back soon for actual cocktail content and learn about us while you wait.