My manfriend works for a company that represents spirits brands in the state of NC and as a result, he occasionally brings home “innovation” or new flavor products for us to try. Earlier this year he brought Smirnoff’s “Wild Honey” vodka home for us to try and I’ve been racking my brain for tasty options for this *almost*-too-sugary-sweet flavor. I say *almost* because I was confident we could find some complementary flavors that needed to be balanced by the vodka’s honey sweetness… and we did!
More on that to come… but first, what didn’t work. I started with our usual go-to house mixer of Ginger Ale but the combination was just too sweet for my palate. So I started researching what flavors pair best with honey and found the mention of blood orange. I hopped on my Instacart app* (more on that soon!) and found that although it’s November, Whole Foods carries blood oranges fresh in store. I also ordered Whole Foods’ Blood Orange Italian Soda and waited for the delivery!
I have been a longtime fan of blood oranges because of their vibrant color and since my days in the South of France where they were pretty prevalent. If you can find them fresh here stateside, grab a few and enjoy.
The Result: Tuscan Orange Honeysuckle
Ingredients (So simple!):
- One fresh blood orange, sliced
- Smirnoff Wild Honey
- Whole Foods Blood Orange Italian Soda
Squeeze a few slices or muddle a few slices of fresh blood orange in a glass with lots of ice. Add equal parts vodka and Italian soda, or vary proportion to taste preference. Stir and enjoy – preferably, poolside.
Overall, this drink was still sweet and tasted much like summer in a glass. Although not perfect for our first fall chill, I’m glad I have a simple go-to recipe for this sweet spirit to keep top of mind and I can absolutely tone the sweetness down with a blood orange sparkling water instead of Italian soda. (I actually had ordered one from Whole Foods, buy my Instacart* shopper said it had been discontinued. Womp, womp.)
Since I love drinking “appropriate for the season” cocktails, my next venture will be into a whiskey cocktail that calls for vodka and honey and see where it takes me. I’m thinking a boozy apple cider is where it’s at. Stay tuned!
*Please Note: The Instacart links I’ve used above give me a referral credit if you sign up to try the service based on my recommendation. You get a credit, too… so sign up for the free trial if you like the idea!