Adapted from Charles H. Baker Jr.’s The South American Gentleman’s Companion, this variation of the original Bumble Bee subs out half of the rum for Armagnac and uses propolis bitters as an aromatic instead of angostura bitters.
1 ounce Hamilton Jamaican Pot Still Black Rum
1 ounce Tariquet VS Armagnac
1 ounce E.G. Flewellen’s mid-summer honey solution
.75 ounces lime juice
.5 ounces egg white
Kate’s propolis bitters (see below) in a spray bottle for garnish
Place all ingredients except bitters in a cocktail shaker. Shake hard for 5 seconds without ice. Add ice to fill one-third of your shaker. Shake vigorously. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a cocktail glass. Garnish with three sprays of bitters over the cocktail.
Propolis Bitters Spray: Mix equal parts Hamilton Demerara 151 rum and propolis bitters (below) Pour into a cocktail mister (aka martini mister or martini atomizer).
Honor the bees by misting your propolis bitters over the drink through a handmade bee stencil like the one pictured on the right, which was cut from the lid of a fresh herb container. Download a pdf of this pattern.
KATE’S Propolis Bitters
After years of awakening the magic of spirits in her bartending, Kate August has gone on from the restaurant world to forge a career in herbalism, helping folks raise their personal spirits to new and beneficial heights. Whether behind the counter at Oakland’s Homestead Apothecary or helping her private clients live healthier lives through herbs, she espouses the idea that you are what you drink.
4 ounces clove tincture (recipe below)
4 ounces propolis tincture* (see orange box at right for sources)
Peel of half an orange
Combine ingredients and let macerate for 2 days, then strain off the alcohol and compost the peel.
Clove Tincture: Macerate 2 parts cloves in 3 parts El Dorado 151 Rum for one week. Strain off the alcohol and compost the cloves.
What is propolis?
This sticky combination of collected plant resins and other hive products (such as beeswax, essential oils, and pollen) is sometimes called “bee glue” for the way bees use it to seal holes and cracks in the hive.
*Find propolis tincture at local herb shops like Homestead Apothecary, Five Flavors Herbs, and Lhasa Karnak.