To Bee or Not to Bee

This recipe is the perfect festive choice for any bar and enhances the match made in heaven that is honey and chilli. I’ve chosen chilli jelly instead of fresh chilli to add texture and to allow control of spice levels and heat within the cocktail. With fresh chilli, you would have to taste test each chilli to ascertain the level of heat, whilst the jelly contains sweeteners that work perfectly for the festive season.

Honey has been used in creating alcohol for centuries. Honey mead is the oldest wine in the world and is made from fermented honey in a way that preserves the flavours but results in a drier taste. Combining these sweet and warming ingredients with the fizz of some Champagne means you’ll soon have the ideal drink for your festive menu.

To Bee or Not to Bee


  • 35ml

    Johnnie Walker Black Label

  • 15ml

    Honey Mead wine

  • 1tsp

    Chilli Jelly

  • 3dashes

    White Orange Balsamic Vinegar

  • 1


  • 0.5tsp

    Toasted pine nuts

  • 1

    Douglas pine fir, small pinecones or honeycomb

0 units of alcohol per serve


  • 1




  • Method

    Toast the pine nuts on a hot, dry non-stick pan on a medium heat. Pine nuts contain lots of natural oil that we want to extract so don’t introduce any further oil.

    Stir while toasting them until they are golden in colour with a nutty aroma. Remove from the pan.

    Take a highball glass and add the whisky and chilli jelly and stir to combine.

    Add the rest of the ingredients, leaving the Champagne for last. Gently pour the Champagne almost to the very top and softly stir using up-down motions.

    Garnish with a little pine or small pinecones for true seasonal nostalgia. If you have a small cigar torch, you can burn the ends of fir or top of the pinecones to release beautiful aromas.

    Accompany the cocktail with some pieces of fresh honeycomb that the customer can chew while drinking to balance the dryness and gentle spice of the chilli jelly or cinder toffee and balsamic caviar.