When people think of stone fruit in the summer, people typically think of peaches, plums and nectarines, but there is one fruit that makes its summery entrance to the culinary stage in a brief but delicious few weeks, the apricot. The apricot is one summer fruit that always seems to be overshadowed by its bigger juicier cousins, but this is one summer fruit that you should definitely not overlook. Sweet with a hint of tartness, the apricot is great for using in cocktails as it can pair up with many spirits, which is why apricots found their way into our Apricot and Honey Bourbon Sour!
Apricots are a finicky fruit to grow in lots of places thanks to the trees going into bloom early in the spring, which makes them very susceptible to those late season frosts. Since we live in Nebraska, which definitely has all four seasons (and winter always seems to want to be slow to release its grip!) getting apricots fresh off the tree is pretty rare. We were in luck this year when one of our friends handed us a big box of apricots from their trees!
Apricots have been long associated with alcohol, with lots of great apricot brandies, liqueurs and even beers on the market, so it was only natural that we decided that our fresh apricots would find their way into a cocktail. Since we don’t have a distillery or a brewery handy in our kitchen, we decided to do the next best thing and make an apricot honey syrup!
Since apricots can tend to be a little tart, we decided that adding in some honey in the syrup would add a nice sweetness. Honey works really well with the sweet tart apricots and added a nice warm floral sweetness to the honey syrup. Since the apricots aren’t overly juicy and honey can be a little thick, we thinned the whole mixture with a little water and regular white sugar. The sugar and water helped extract the juice from the apricot.
The resulting apricot honey syrup was delicious, not overly sweet with a nice honey flavor. With such a deliciously fruity syrup, we wanted to pair it up with a spirit that would play well with fruit and honey, so we chose one of our favorites, bourbon. Bourbon and honey are a winning combination and when you add apricot into the mix, the fruity syrup pulling out the warm caramel notes from the bourbon and enhancing the natural sweetness of the honey.
Of course a cocktail can’t just be one hundred percent sweet, especially for a summer sipper like the Apricot and Honey Bourbon Sour, so we had to add a little tartness to add a real refreshing edge that a classic sour can bring. A splash of fresh squeezed lemon juice adds that nice tartness which tied the drink together. The Apricot and Honey Bourbon Sour is one summery cocktail that you need to be sipping on!
- 2 oz Bourbon
- 1.5 oz Honey Apricot Syrup
- 1/2 oz Lemon Juice
- 5 Drops Bitters (we used Dram Apothecary's Hair of the Dog Bitters but sub your own)
- Mint for garnish
- 3-5 apricots pitted and sliced.
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- Add bourbon, syrup, lemon and bitters into a glass.
- Add ice.
- Stir to mix.
- Garnish with a fresh sprig of mint
- Slice and pit the apricots.
- Add apricots, water, sugar and honey to a small sauce pan.
- Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for around 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.
- Strain syrup and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator