We added our own vivid yellow twist on this classic cocktail…bee pollen! A hat tip, a nod, a lifted glass to Karla, our dear bee guru, who introduced the idea of rimming a glass with pollen to me, one fine springy afternoon. While those that keep bees may be able to harvest their own honey, it is also available at local grocery stores in the refrigerated section.Bee pollen is magic, from a health standpoint, and from a flavor one as well. It’s 40% protein, about half of which is in the form of free amino acids, which are easily accessible to the body. Pollen is considered an energy and nutritive tonic in Chinese medicine, and it is also used for weight stabilization, in anti-aging regimens, and to combat seasonal allergies. There are myriad other uses as well, but let’s not get carried away with health claims…this is a cocktail, after all. It is, however, worth noting one more amazing fact about bee pollen: it tastes absolutely wonderful. It’s sweet on the tongue, but not as sweet as honey, and it carries the flavor of flowers with it, too, and that of fresh beeswax, a taste that’s hard to describe, but unforgettable once you have tasted it. There may be more healthful things to do with a few ounces of bee pollen, but few are tastier than this.
Measure out gin, lemon juice and honey simple syrup in your jigger one at a time and combine all ingredients with the bee pollen in a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice.
Shake shake shake shake.
Moisten the rim of the cocktail glass with the honey simple syrup. Spread the bee pollen on a plate or shallow bowl, and gently nestle the glass into the pollen.
It takes a lighter touch than rimming a glass with salt; the pollen is delicate and should not be crushed. Any residual pollen can be stored in the fridge—the stuff is gold, so don’t get rid of it!
Add some of these beauties, if you like.
Toast the bees.
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