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Honey in Cocktail

蜂蜜雞尾酒

Since I studied Chinese-style cocktails, I would like to know more about Chinese wine infusion, local crops and local ingredients, and promoting local and healthy drinking culture through Chinese cocktails. One of those local ingredients is the nourishing natural food - honey. Honey is very important in the history of wine as honey-brewed wine (Mead) was emerged as early as 700 BC in China, much earlier than beer was founded. According to records the creation of honey wine was inspired by "monkey wine". It was believed that monkeys used to store their fruits in the cave, which naturally ferment and turn to alcohol.

 

Honey is composed of glucose and fructose, which can be directly absorbed by human body without the aid of enzymes. It is therefore much healthier than white sugar commonly used in bars. Honey has multiple therapeutic effects such as moisturizing, moistening, detoxification, whitening and relieving constipation. People started taking diluted honey as early as the Paleolithic age (about ten thousand to fifteen thousand years ago), as a sort of flavored water. It was speculated that flavored water will naturally fermented and become honey wine (Mead). Therefore the best way to make honey wine is dilute it with water, then introduce air so that the wild yeasts can breed and undergo fermentation. Inoculated yeast was invented later to ensure a high quality.

 

Not long ago I found an interesting story about mead, which happened in Medieval Europe. Once there was a pair of newlyweds staying in their new house for a whole month while the bride made mead for her husband, which was said to benefit to the fertility of the couples. This "honey month" was then transformed to "honeymoon", and this is actually the origin of the term. In this sense, I decided to make a special cocktail for my groom-to-be friend, using my homebrew ginseng honey ginger wine. I hope this helps with his baby-making plan.

 

Ground 20 grams of ginseng, 40 grams of local turmeric. Infuse them into 1,000ml Chinese rice wine. Leave it for 14 days then add suitable amount of honey and lemon juice to balance the taste.

 

 

自從研究中式雞尾酒之後,對於中式釀酒和運用本地農作物及食材更想有深入認識, 想多點運用本地材料創作雞尾酒及透過中式雞尾酒來推廣健康飲酒文化。而其中一種就是營養豐富的滋補天然食品 - 蜂蜜。蜂蜜對於酒的歷史是十分重要,蜂蜜釀的酒早在約公元前七百年前已經在中國出現 。歷史比啤酒還要久遠, 而根據歷史記載蜜糖酒是 “猿酒” 啟發而成功釀造。 傳說這猿酒是猿猴所做,實際是因為猿猴習慣將水果放入洞穴儲存, 而水果在洞穴裏經過發酵而成酒,名為猿酒。

 

蜂蜜係由單糖類的葡萄糖和果糖構成 ,可以被人體直接吸收,無需酶的分解。比起平常在酒吧常用的白糖水健康得多,蜂蜜能滋潤,潤燥,解毒,美白養顏和潤腸通便。很久以前的人也喝蜂蜜,遠至舊石器年代約一萬至一萬五千年前,人類就懂得用水來稀釋蜜糖,當作「美味的水」飲用。由此推測美味的水就很會自然發酵而變成蜂蜜酒。 所以釀酒造蜂蜜酒最簡單方法只需將蜂蜜加水稀釋,令蜂蜜的高糖度降低,當中滲入空氣令蜂蜜的天然酵母菌能夠繁殖至發酵就能釀成蜂蜜酒,後來更加入人工酵母發酵來保證品質。

 

不久前我發現有關於蜜糖酒在中世紀歐洲更有趣的一個記載。新婚夫婦在家裏一個月不外出,新娘親自製作蜂蜜酒給新郎喝。傳説蜂蜜酒可以強壯身體,提高生育品質。因「蜂蜜的一個月」=「蜜月」,便產生了蜜月(honey moon)這個詞語。原來新婚旅行(蜜月)來源於蜂蜜酒。而因為這個記載我忽發奇想利用自己釀造的人參蜂蜜薑酒創作一杯雞尾酒送給一位好友兼準新郎,讓他補補身努力造人兒,哈!大家也不妨在家試試沖調,配方如下:

將20 克人參、40 克本地黃薑搗成粗未,浸在1000 毫升的40度蒸餾酒中14 天後,加適量的蜂蜜及檸檬汁以作調味。