Let’s celebrate the summer cocktail with a new one called the The Beekeeper’s Balm—a soothing, citrusy mix of lemon balm, Muskoka honey, and rum.
Lemon balm is an herb with the scent of lemons and the look of basil or mint. It’s tasty in tea, but hey… summer’s almost here so let’s improvise a wee bit! Let’s pair lemon balm with creamed honey made in Muskoka—Raymond (near Rosseau) hides a hive of beekeepers, we’re told. We’ll add a splash of white rum to the cocktail to make things interesting. When mixed together, the Beekeeper’s Balm is a sweet and soothing summer sip.
Recipe: The Beekeeper’s Balm
8 to 10 drinks
5 tablespoons honey
60 ml very warm water
480 ml white rum
180 ml freshly squeezed, lemon juice, strained
240 ml fresh lemon balm leaves, loosely packed
Club soda to top off, optional
Lemon slices, for garnish
Stir honey and water in a pitcher allowing honey to dissolve. Add the rum and lemon juice.
Add the lemon balm and muddle with a wooden spoon.
[Muddling is a technique used in drinks to gently mash herbs or fruit to release their juices. This helps the flavours to bind with the alcohol better than simply using them whole. You need a cocktail muddler, and cocktail shaker. Place the herbs in the bottom of a cocktail shaker or large metal cup or bowl. Using a wooden cocktail muddler or unfinished wooden spoon, gently mash the herbs a few times to release the juices. Do not mash the leaves to a pulp.]
Fill 8 to 10 canning jars with ice cubes. Divide evenly among the glasses. You can top the concoction with club soda if desired. Garnish with lemon slices and serve.
About the Author: David Bruce Patterson is a Muskoka author, poet, and cocktail connoisseur. He finds it a stimulating challenge, rotating between novel writing, and poetry. “They meet somewhere in the middle,” he says. “The unknown genre.” David has completed his novel, Square Wheels, and is now working on Dorothy Parker and the Epigram Mysteries: Murder at Land’s End. David has also written more than 3000 poems and hopes to have an anthology out soon!