Chocofest was, as it always is, totally madcap and wonderful. Pike Brewing is such a staple of the city, with so much history, that there's always a sense of roots to the space. This year we were just pleased as can be to partner with Copperworks Distilling, our wonderful waterfront friends, on a cocktail for this party. Since it was just before Valentine's Day I wanted to create something with a touch of romance, that you could sip while looking into your beloved's eyes (even if your beloved is your cat). And since we had just released our Blood Orange shrub, this seemed like a great place to start.
We've paired the Blood Orange with gin on other occasions, in our Dame Judi Dench cocktail last Spring and liberally in our g+t, so I knew the combination was a winner. Honey, with it's seductive aroma and reputation as an aphrodisiac, seemed like a great direction. And we all know honey + gin + citrus is my favorite Bees Knees cocktail. So that was an easy call to make, with the added bonus that it is a great cocktail to make in large batches.
But why the name? Well, in searching for name inspirations I often start with pagan mythologies, especially those outside Greek and Roman tradition. I found that Kamadeva is the Hindu god of desire and love (especially sexual desire) and his bow is made of a sugar cane strung with bees. He seemed like the perfect patron for this cocktail, with it's charming light red color and sweet kiss of honey.
The sip is sweet to start, with big orange and herbal notes following. Then a touch of molasses and honey gives way to a grapefruit like finish. It's very refreshing and the addition of the seltzer keeps it light and effervescent, like new love.
1.5 ounce Copperworks Gin
1 ounce Blood Orange shrub
.5 ounce Rich Honey Syrup
2 ounce Seltzer
To make rich honey syrup, warm 2 parts honey in 1 part water until the honey is dissolved. This makes it easier to incorporate into the cocktail (or a glass of iced tea). For this syrup I used a robust wildflower honey that could stand up to the assertive flavors in the shrub and gin. Cool the syrup fully before using and store in a sealed container. This keeps until just about forever.
Put all ingredients, except seltzer, into a shaker with ice. Shake well, about 15 seconds, until the shaker is frosted on the outside and everything is well combined. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and top with seltzer. This cocktail is great both straight up or over ice. But either way, you should garnish it with a strip of blood orange zest and a smoldering, come hither look.