“Ah, you're ordering a woman's drink!” the burly bartender bellowed after I ordered the Bee's Kiss a couple of weeks ago at the Bambú Lounge at the Fairmont Newport Beach, and my crew laughed. We agreed. In my defense, I had just downed a sturdy Manhattan up, a thin, small sheet of ice floating on top, its bourbon settling my nerves of inadequacy, being we were in a high-pressure meeting that night. I would've had another Manhattan, but I remembered the Kiss–made with honey harvested from hives on the rooftop of the Fairmont maintained by the Backyard Bees, the collective that rescues our buzzing pals from mean exterminators.
The drink came, looking a bit like a margarita. The bartender was right–it's a drink better suited for a gal who likes the tart stuff. But, to quoth Moe Szyslak, it wasn't without its charms. And to quoth Moe's following line (it's the Flaming Homer episode, 'member?), the Bee's Kiss is like a party in your mouth–and everyone's invited.
It's a simple thing: 1800 Tequila blanco, Grey Goose vodka, and the honey. The drink might be for chicks, but the double-whammy of the alcohols makes it almost as potent as the Manhattan. Cutting the bracing du is the honey, swirled in the drink so it achieves a milky tint and consistency à la horchata. Haven't had the Backyard Bees' cultivated honey? It's beauty reduced to an apiary: no preservatives, no additives, nothing but unadulterated sweetness tempered by hints of spice and citrus, and it does wonders lurking within the sea of alcohol. The Bee's Kiss is sweet, will sting, and is not so much a drink for women as it epitomizes one–buy it to support Backyard Bees, and the Fairmont for being so darn progressive!