The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2015

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36  /  the tasting panel  /  october 2015 on Honey B efore last year's Honey Beverage Summit, where she had the opportu- nity to taste several honey varietals side-by-side and compare the way their flavors played across the wide world of spirits, for Layla Linn, honey was, well, honey. But today, Linn has a "go-to honey guy" at her local farmer's market and, as an Account Development Specialist in the Phoenix metro area, teaches her customers how to use honey to develop cocktails consumers won't get anywhere else. "A lot of my accounts are looking to create locally driven menus, and honey is absolutely perfect for that," comments Linn. "They are looking for focused, specific food and menu items, and honey brings that beautifully." Linn has also found that honey offers incredible balance in the ever-evolving beer cocktail trend. "As soon as I got back from the Honey Beverage Summit, I started looking at beers and incorporating honey into beer cocktails," says Linn. "I realized very quickly that a lot of beers have a similar mouthfeel to honey; the saisons, the Hefeweizens pair really well because the honey actually heightens and brings out the viscosity of the beer. Honey really takes beer cocktails to the next level," she says. For every style of beer, as with any base spirit, Linn's certain there's a perfect honey to be put in the mix: "There are so many different styles of stout, for example," she says. "From coffee-based or more vanilla, there are so many essences that can be brought out with honey. Think of an Orange Blossom honey with a chocolatey-stout; that's like an orange truffle! It's really cool to be able to play with the flavors in so many ways," says Linn. Layla Linn is enamored with the way Buckwheat honey plays with gin: "I'm still gaga over this amazing pairing," she says. Honey continues to be at the sweet spot of adult beverage trends, inspiring mixologists with its versatility and diverse flavor profiles. The proof is on the menu. Datassential MenuTrends data reveals a 24 percent increase in honey cocktail menu penetration from 2013 to 2014, and a whopping 685 percent increase between 2005 and 2014. The Sweet on Honey series looks at honey's impact on the industry, one tastemaker at a time. Strawberry and Saison Scotsman 1½ oz. 10-year-old Scotch ½ oz. amaro 1 barspoon strawberry preserves ¾ oz. fresh lemon juice ¾ oz. Wildflower honey syrup (2:1) 1½ oz. saison Swe et Elevating beer cocktails and more with . . . Account Development Specialist, Alliance Beverage AZ 36  /  the tasting panel  /  october 2015 Layla Linn, PHOTO: GRACE STUFKOSKY PHOTO: GRACE STUFKOSKY

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