Category Archives: Cocktail Hour

Cocktail Hour: Southerly Honeybee

Honey citrus cocktail

Here’s a drink that really takes advantage of the beautiful ingredients we got at the farmer’s market. The meyer lemon, when cut into, reminded me of the first time I traveled to San Francisco in the winter time and was offered a sample of lemon at the markets of the Embarcadero. Lemon is a fruit I would never think to just bite into except on a dare, but because it was so fresh, I could enjoy its unmitigated and full-flavored sourness, detecting a sweetness I had never experienced before in a piece of citrus. It was January, and I had summer in my mouth. THIS was the main reason I’ve had a hard time buying citrus in Maine, and THIS is what I’ve been looking forward to enjoying while visiting Georgia and Florida.

The ingredients also happened to work well with the only bottle of alcohol we had available on the boat*, a 2 oz bottle of Barenjager, a honey liqueur.

Local honey can play in important dietary role in ensuring wellness, and for travelers like us, it’s done a good job of providing us with low doses of local pollens that help us adjust to new plants as we’ve moved down the coast. It turns out that’s probably bunk, but hey, even if it is, we love supporting local beekeepers. Nothing but good.

Here we go!

1 meyer lemon

1 orange (that beautiful pink thing in the picture is an orange)

2 oz Barenjager

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup warm water


This will make about two drinks, and do play with the ratios. When I do this again, I’d double the Barenjager and back off the honey a bit. This is just what I happened to have on hand and the low alcohol ratio worked well for the role the drink played, which was as an accompaniment to brunch.

Add the Barenjager to ice in a nalgene bottle or, if you’re fancy, to a cocktail pitcher. (I see you bein’ fancy.) Juice the fruit, and don’t forget the pulpy stuff- put the whole kit and kaboodle in with the ice mixture.

Make a syrup with the honey and water. You’re looking to make about as much honey syrup as you’ve got juice. Why add it to warm water? If you just add gooey honey to this drink, it will never homogenize with everything else. It’ll just sink to the bottom.

Shake all that stuff together and get it really cold. Strain off over glasses filled with ice or just pour it out into glasses if you’re at an anchorage and ice is like gold.

Variations: Try grapefruit or blood oranges. No Barenjager? Rum will be good in this, and you can get away with vodka too, obviously. Too sweet? Back off on the honey syrup. Play with all these ratios, taste this drink as you make it.

*Note: We do have a bottle of Coruba Rum, however, that is a gift that is to be opened when we get to our southernmost point in our trip this year. More on that later.

Cocktail Hour: Spiced Rum and Sorrel

Sorrel cocktail #rum #caribbean #sailing #cruising #recipe #cocktail

Floral and acidic like cranberry, sorrel is brewed as a tea around Christmas time in the Caribbean. I first learned about this Hibiscus relative in St. John’s, Antigua at the public market. An elderly woman gave me seeds and some deep red, nearly-dried flowers. The seeds were to take home, and she said my whole neighborhood would have enough sorrel to share with what she had given me which was just a handful of pods. She told me the sorrel drink at Christmas involved spices and because of its harvest in late October, it would be dried by just before Christmas.

Of course I did the crazy thing and hid them in the bottom of my bag coming through customs. Come and get me.

I also got this bag of dried sorrel later on a stop in Road Town, Tortola, hoping to be able to brew a good amount of it when I got home. The seeds would require a tropical environment to sprout- we gave it a college try in Maine this past summer but alas, didn’t get any sorrel plants out of it. Since it’s basically Hibiscus, it was a long shot.

So here’s the drink:

1 oz spiced rum, or your favorite rum

7 oz sorrel tea

lime wedge


Brew the sorrel tea first. Boiling water over a tea bag with 3 or 4 tbsp of sorrel should do it. On MIMI ROSE I do this in a big water bottle, as it’s got a good, secure lid on it. Wait for the tea to cool down before putting it in the ice box.

So you’ve got your cup, you nearly fill it with ice. Delicately and exuberantly splash your ounce of rum over that ice, pour the extracted sorrel over it, squeeze the lime, then tumble back and forth once between two cups.

I like to do this drink icy, but you could do it warm-ish too. Heck, you could do a hot tea drink if it’s chilly. Warm rum is fantastic.

I think I could also envision putting some whole clove and some cinnamon bark in with the tea to really kick up the spice in the drink. Got a packet of mulling spices? Sounds good, put it into the tea bag with the sorrel. Essentially you’re balancing brown sugar rum flavors with tart sorrel tea flavor and you can experiment with spice to your taste- so go to town with it and make it your own.

Have you seen sorrel drink before? Have you seen it prepared other ways? I’d love to know more about this beautiful red elixir!