Last week, I told you how excited I was to start experimenting with the culinary uses of honeysuckle. My first experiments have been with honeysuckle simple syrup, and they’ve been met with enthusiasm by my friends. They’ve all been impressed with my creativity, but really, it couldn’t be easier.

Honeysuckle simple syrup tastes exactly like you’d expect it to taste. It’s just like the nectar that you used to suck out of honeysuckles when you were a kid, only it’s in liquid form.

First, I’ll tell you how to make this easy syrup; then I’ll give you a couple of drink recipes. There are many methods for making this syrup online. I used the method I found on several website, including the bell’alimento blog.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup honeysuckle flowers
Directions
  1. Boil the water and sugar together until the sugar completely dissolves.
  2. Turn off the heat, throw in the honeysuckle flowers, and put a lid on it.
  3. Once the mixture cools, transfer to a clean glass jar and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. The longer you let it sit, the stronger the honeysuckle flavor will be.
  4. Strain the flowers out and pour into individual, clean bottles.
Now on to the drinks I’ve been making. I fully expect you to experiment on your own if you make honeysuckle simple syrup, but these are some good things to sip on while you’re experimenting. The hardest thing about experimenting is coming up with names for your creations.

Bee’s Nectar Cocktail (a riff on a Bee’s Knees)

  • 2 oz gin
  • 3/4 oz honeysuckle simply syrup
  • 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
Combine ingredients into an ice-filled shaker, shake, and pour into a martini glass.

Honeysuckle Sparkler

Fill a Champagne flute about 1/4 full with honeysuckle simple syrup and fill to the top with a dry Champagne, Prosecco or other sparkling wine.

Strawberry Honeysuckle Cooler (non-alocholic), pictured at right

In an 8 oz. tall glass filled 3/4 of the way with ice mix:

  • 1/2 oz honeysuckle syrup
  • 1/2 oz strawberry shrub syrup
  • Top off with club soda or sparkling water
One friend used it in her version of a Lemon Drop martini, but I didn’t write down the proportions. I had a sip of it, and it was good. I’ve also been playing around with it with various proportions of vodka, juices and club soda, and while I’ve come up with some good stuff, I haven’t created anything worth sharing – yet.

If you have access to honeysuckle, give this simple syrup a try and play around with adding it to beverages. I think it would be good in iced tea or lemonade, too, although I haven’t given that a try.

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