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The Bebbo: A Cocktail Even a Bee Could Love

Posted by Reese on 2010-09-25 @ 12:49pm

Well, friends, this post marks the end of my first weeks back and they’ve been fantastic.  Mixing up drinks, participating in MxMo, reviewing spirits, ah, it’s good to be back.  So, what of the Bebbo?  Allow me to say first that it was a fantastic drink to come back with.  The mix of gin, citrus and honey is truly divine.  Not overly sweet, a nice burst of sour from the lemon juice and a smooth sweetness from the honey.

Bebbo Cocktail

Seems a good segue to the first experiment I wanted to conduct with this drink.  Specifically, does the variety of honey play a role in the final flavor?  As you may or may not be aware, the flavor of honey changes based on what the bees fed on primarily.  So, for example, around here we have clover honey and wild flower honey primarily.  In other locales you’ll find varieties such as sage, orange blossom, tupelo, buckwheat, heather, etc.  While my selection of honey certainly wasn’t vast I found that the variety of honey used in this drink didn’t have much affect on the end flavor.  This is due to the honey only comprising a small percentage of the final cocktail and the gin being floral by itself.  A couple tips regarding the honey.  One, make sure to heat it up a bit in the microwave.  I found about 20-30 seconds to be perfect.  That way the honey flows better and doesn’t get all stuck in your jigger.  Two, make sure you give the drink a good solid 30 seconds of shaking.  That will make sure the honey is completely dissolved.

Which brings us along to the gin.  As with many gin cocktails the question I first asked was what gin should I use for this drink?  Should I go juniper forward, maybe citrus forward, something bold, something light?  Given the bold flavor of the citrus and honey I knew a light gin like Sapphire would get mostly lost, so I turned to something bolder and juniper forward, my old pal Tanqueray.  This gin is definitely my preference for this cocktail.  That said, you can certainly use anything you like or have on hand.  The citrus really dominates the flavor profile anyway.

Finally, I mentioned in my intro for this drink that I wanted to experiment with vodka instead of gin to see what the real difference was.  I’ll make the summary quick, the difference was huge.  The vodka Bebbo was still very good.  In fact, I’d happily drink one were it served to me.  However, it lacked the subtle complexity that gin brings to the party.  Without this complexity the drink was a bit one noted.  My recommendation is this.  If you’ve sworn over and over you don’t like gin, try a light gin to start.  Sapphire and Plymouth are both great options.  Once you’ve built a taste for gin (hopefully) you can move on to bolder options.

So, there you have it.  While summer is still in the air and you can still enjoy a meal outside I’d say mix up a light, fruity drink like the Bebbo and soak in the out of doors.  Enjoy!