9 Reasons To Love The Strawberry Bee’s Knees Cocktail
Is it time for a cocktail? After the madness of the holidays, January finds us trying to catch our breath, focused on our optimistic New Year resolutions and taking care of long to-do lists. We’re busy and short on time. This often means we put off getting together with friends to “someday soon”. You know that free time? When you have a break? (time that actually doesn’t exist!) And, before you know it, another year has gone by!
I say yes, it’s time for a cocktail! A tasty strawberry one!
When I started Go Epicurista two year’s ago, I wanted to change that. To stop putting off to “someday” all the fun stuff in life – entertaining friends, traveling, trying that new restaurant, and checking off the bucket list. I wanted to inspire you to do the same. My mission became, and still is today, to “make someday happen” one bite, sip and trip at a time, by celebrating great food experiences around the world.
[bctt tweet=”Every day should be a celebration! A friend and a cocktail is all you need! #FLStrawberry #SundaySupper”]
Life should be celebrated with friends and family every day, whether it be around the dinner table, out at a fun restaurant or traveling anywhere around your town or around the world. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, elaborate or expensive, it just requires you be present. Don’t put off those fun gatherings with friends because entertaining is too much work, or because the house isn’t spotless.
Inspired by the juicy Florida Strawberries now in season, I created a simple, classy and good-for-you cocktail you can whip up a batch in no time. Your friends truly don’t care that you haven’t polished and dusted every nook and cranny. Set a date, send an e-vite, get the gang together and sip on this easy and super tasty Florida Strawberry Bee’s Knees Cocktail.
Here are the 9 Reasons Why You’ll Love the Strawberry Bee’s Knees Cocktail:
1. It has Florida Strawberries!
Strawberries have the unique ability to “dress up” any recipe and make it extra special. It’s amazing how many dishes, from savory to sweet, you can brighten up with strawberries (just take a look at the list of recipes at the bottom of this post!) I’m not sure where their magic lies. I believe for me, growing up in the Caribbean had something to do with it. We didn’t have strawberries easily accessible and they were very expensive. When mom came home with a small container of this gorgeous juicy red fruit, it was a rare treat and instantly signaled a special occasion. Today, I’m lucky I live in Central Florida, where some of the best strawberries in the country are grown. I can indulge to my heart’s content, making any day a special occasion.
2. It’s a Classic!
The Bee’s Knees cocktail dates back to the times of Prohibition. The original version is made simply of gin, lemon and honey. Do you know where the term “the bee’s knees” came from? During Prohibition, ingredients like citrus and honey were used to cover up the less than ideal taste and smell of spirits made in bathtubs (bathtub gin anyone?). It meant “the best” as the goal was to improve the taste of inferior product. In this recipe, there is nothing inferior to cover up. Impress your friends with this classic craft cocktail and bit of trivia. Everyone will say “this is the bee’s knees” after the first sip.
3. It has Gin!
You may not think this is reason to celebrate, but move over vodka, because gin is one of the hottest spirits around. Many, myself included, shunned gin for years because our first taste of this aromatic spirit was likely in a poor quality, poorly made gin and tonic. Take a high quality gin, preferably one made in small batches, and mix it with some quality mixers and you will sing the praises of gin. This Strawberry Bee’s Knees cocktail will convert the non-gin drinker, guaranteed!
Wondering how to pick a good gin? There are many styles to choose from. You can go for a London dry gin, full of Juniper botanical notes or a malty, whiskey-like Genever. Don’t be afraid to explore, taste and find one you like. Your local liquor store or even your favorite bartender will guide you through it. I prefer those brands which offer a unique blend. The craft gin distillers who balance out the juniper notes with more aromatics like floral botanicals and fruity touches – citrus peels, coriander, cardamom, or even cucumber and roses. Here in Florida, we have vibrant citrus and tropical infused craft gin made in St. Augustine and St. Pete, perfect for refreshing cocktails like this one. If you’re not convinced, you can make this recipe using your favorite vodka. In the end, it’s all about what you like. But, don’t be afraid to try something new!
4. It has Florida Strawberry Honey!
Raw natural honey is not only good for you, but it’s great to use in recipes and cocktails. Honey is an essential ingredient in a Bee’s Knees cocktail and for my Florida Strawberry Bee’s Knees I wanted something extra special. I wanted strawberry honey.
A Goggle search led me to a local Rockledge, Florida beekeeper making flavored honey. When I learned his strawberry honey is made using extracted oils from Plant City strawberries, I knew I had to find him. A phone call later and I was meeting Art, a 79-year-old retired chemist turned honey producer, on the side of the road off the 528 Expressway. He knew I was coming from Orlando and wanted to save me the longer drive, so we met half way. It felt quite clandestine, and gave me a good laugh, as I waited for Art to exchange his sweet loot for my cash on a quiet Saturday morning along this less traveled road. He could have shipped it to me, but it would not have been as much fun! This is why I love buying local. The people. The stories. They just make the final product taste better.
The strawberry flavored honey gives this cocktail just that extra touch of flavor intensity, however, you can also make the recipe with unflavored natural honey. Just be sure it is raw honey. It makes a big difference.
5. It’s Simple!
Often when making craft cocktails, the recipes can be very complicated. Rare syrups, two-week infusions, hard-to-find ingredients, you name it. Bartenders often try to one up each other in the creativity of their concoctions. Great for a night out at a swanky bar but not for entertaining at home. This recipe is simple and easy to follow for true mixologist style results. When you can make a cocktail with only four ingredients, easily found in your local store, and still make it look fancy, you’ve hit the jackpot!
6. It’s Easy Entertaining!
My goal is to entertain friends and family at home more often, and since I’m always short on time, I need recipes for easy entertaining. I can whip up a batch of this Florida Strawberry Bee’s Knees cocktail in advance by simply multiplying the recipe and serving it in a punch bowl, pitcher or even an infusion jar. The honey simple syrup will keep in the fridge for weeks, maybe months, but mine hasn’t lasted that long! Keep it in stock and you can use it to sweeten any beverage. Choose some of the awesome recipes my Sunday Supper friends have created using Florida Strawberries, which are listed below, and you have the perfect pairings and a great party! You’re bound to create awesome memories.
7. It’s Good for You!
At the start of a new year, thoughts of eating healthy and cutting back on indulgences often become top of mind. With this recipe, there’s no need to forgo a nice adult beverage every once in a while. I’m not a doctor but just looking at the ingredients, you know there is nothing artificial about it – which is often what packs the calories in any recipe, especially cocktails using sugary mixers. It has fresh Florida strawberries, raw honey and fresh lemon, all high in antioxidants and natural immune boosters. I’m sure it will practically cure anything that ails ya.
[bctt tweet=”Did you know 8 med #FLStrawberry equal your daily requirement of vitamin C? #SundaySupper”]
Strawberries are one of the most nutrient dense fruits. Did you know 8 medium strawberries equal your daily requirement of vitamin C? There’s 4 in this cocktail so you’re half way there! Always use fresh fruit instead of store-bought mixers in your cocktails. You can muddle it or blend it for higher quality, higher nutrition value and lower calories. For more Florida Strawberry nutrition information click here.
Raw honey is known to ward off allergies and boost your immunity. It’s the only food which includes all substances necessary to sustain life, including enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and water. It even improves brain functioning! Replace white sugar for local honey in your simple syrup and your cocktails will not only be more nutritious but have more character too.
8. It’s Fresh from Florida!
If you’re in Florida, it doesn’t get more local than this! Support the #SunshinePlate Movement and Eat Local. Fresh from Florida Strawberries, which are in season December – April, will help you enjoy the taste of summer all winter long and that is something to raise your glass to and say “cheers!” Add a Florida-made Gin and Florida Honey and you’re bound to bring more sunshine into your life.
9. It’s Travel Inspiration!
A sip of the Florida Strawberry Bee’s Knees will inspire you to plan a trip to the Sunshine State. Hillsborough County is recognized as the “Winter Strawberry Capital of the World”. The Florida Strawberry Festival, held in Plant City each March, is a great time to visit. Enjoy strawberries in every way, the most fantastic strawberry shortcakes and milkshakes, fun concerts, carnival rides and a full day of fun. The Florida Strawberry Growers Association has a large exhibit where you’ll learn all about strawberry production. Read about my experience in this post “Small Town Feel, Big Fun with Friends”.
Any self-professed food enthusiast visiting Central Florida must plan a delicious stay at the ultra chic, boutique Epicurean Hotel in Tampa, Florida. Stay tuned for my post about this amazing hotel property and all of its Must-Eat features. From cocktails at the sexy Edge Rooftop Bar, to a farm to table dinner at Elevage Restaurant to dessert at the legendary, world-famous Bern’s Steakhouse Harry Waugh Dessert Room, this place is Epicurista heaven! If all this indulgence is not enough, nearby local hotspots Cask Social Kitchen and Ava round-out the perfect culinary getaway.
Strawberry Bee’s Knees Cocktail with #FLStrawberry #SundaySupper
- 2 oz Gin (Use vodka if preferred)
- 4 ea Florida Strawberries
- 1 oz Strawberry Honey Syrup (see recipe below)
- 1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
- Strawberry or Lemon Twist Garnish
- 1/4 cup Strawberry Raw Honey (unflavored natural honey can be used)
- 1/4 cup Hot Water
Prepare Strawberry Honey Syrup (see recipe below)
Place Florida Strawberries in cocktail shaker with strawberry honey syrup and muddle strawberries until juicy. You may let this mixture sit for a few minutes to extract more juice.
Add remaining ingredients in a cocktail shaker
Shake until chilled
Strain into a martini glass or if you want to serve it 1920’s style, use a coupe glass. If you want to go for rustic chic, serve it over ice in a mason jar. This is a cocktail you can dress up or down, and it will always be classy.
Garnish with a strawberry or a lemon twist
This recipe is easily adapted to your taste. Want it more tart? Add more lemon juice. Don’t want it as sweet? Just reduce the strawberry honey syrup.
Place ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously until honey is dissolved.
Do not heat this mixture in a pot as you would when making a traditional simple syrup. Honey should not be heated.
Store any unused syrup in the refrigerator
Live From Florida!
I’m writing this post from Tampa, Florida while on the most awesome adventure. Truly a #MakeSomedayHappen experience. Florida Strawberry Growers Association invited a group of Sunday Supper Movement tastemakers to the most amazing live blogger event so we may learn all about Florida’s tasty crop. I could have never imagined when I started Go Epicurista, that it would lead me to these types of experiences.
We have met kind and hard-working farmers responsible for growing Florida’s strawberries. Wined and dined at local restaurants Cask Social Club and Ava. Been utterly wowed by the ultra chic Epicurean Hotel – can you imagine there’s a hotel dedicated to all things food!? A stay here has been on my “someday list” since it opened in 2013 and I can finally say I crossed it off the list!
Tonight, we will be part of a live #SundaySupper Twitter Chat from Epicurean Hotel. Two years ago I didn’t even know what Twitter was – let alone imagined being a part of a chat which reaches millions of people all over the world, talking about food, fun and getting together around the family table. The Sunday Supper Movement does this every Sunday at 7pm. Follow the hashtag and join in!
#SundaySupper #FLStrawberry Recipes
Check out these Florida Strawberry recipes by these fantastic Sunday Supper contributors. They are perfect pairings with my Florida Strawberry Bee’s Knees Cocktail!
- Strawberries with Balsamic Glaze by Life Tastes Good
- Strawberry Hotteok (Fried Stuffed Pancake) by kimchi MOM
- Strawberry Salsa 2-Ways by Midlife Road Trip
- Strawberry and Cream Cheese Breakfast Pastries with a Strawberry Dipping Sauce by The Healthy Fit Foodie
- Grilled Chicken Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Dressing by Momma’s Meals
- Sparkling Strawberry Salad by Magnolia Days
- Strawberry Steak Salad by Family Foodie
Strawberry Main Dishes
- Chicken Fajitas with Strawberry-Jalapeno Salsa by Casa de Crews
- Roasted Balsamic Strawberries and Brie Grilled Sandwich by Sunday Supper Movement
- Savory Balsamic Roasted Strawberry and Basil Grilled Cheese by Pass The Sushi
- Strawberry Bruschetta Chicken by The Dinner-Mom
- Chocolate Strawberry Tart by Desserts Required
- Strawberry Cream Pie by Recipes Food and Cooking
- Strawberry Fraisier by Love and Confections
- Strawberry Upside-Down Cheesecake by The Crumby Cupcake
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.
Let’s Get Social!
Follow our event sponsors on social media for all the latest news, fun recipes and events.
• Florida Strawberry Growers Association Website
• Strawberry Sue Website
• Florida Strawberry on Facebook
• Florida Strawberry on Twitter
• Florida Strawberry on Instagram
• Florida Strawberry on Pinterest
• Strawberry Sue on YouTube
• Strawberry Sue on Twitter
• Epicurean Hotel
• Cask Social Kitchen
• Edge Rooftop Bar at Epicurean
• Bern’s Harry Waugh Dessert Room
This post is sponsored by Florida Strawberry Growers Association in conjunction with a social media campaign through Sunday Supper LLC. All opinions are my own.