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Host a Honey Tasting Party

If there is a trend in artisan food, it’s tasting parties and to push it even further, Food and Wine Magazine listed “homemade honey” as a top trend recently. The following are guidelines, tasting notes, pairing ideas which will ultimately help you set the stage to host a Honey Tasting Party in your own home.

Host a Honey Tasting Party

Varietal Honeys

Start with the main ingredient: honey. You’ll want to showcase and highlight it at its prime so choose to serve and taste a reasonable amount. Consider tasting 4-6 varieties as to not overwhelm your palate. Consider purchasing varietal honeys from around the country that have specific flavors present.

After purchasing your honey, transfer each honey into a tasting container. This is where you can get really creative! You’ll want to find containers that highlight the color, clarity and consistency of the honey. Think small champagne glasses, cute ramekins, or you can even serve on small plates that offer dividers, such as these ceramic palettes. Have small plastic spoons for guest to dip in the honey.

More Than Just Honey

Not only will your party be about the honeys, but you’ll learn about great foods to pair with honey. When pairing foods and condiments, you are either searching for a perfect balance, harmonious flavors that complement each other. Other times, you want to shock you palate and present it with intense flavors that are balanced out with exact opposites.

Pairing Ideas for Tasting Varietal Honeys

Cheeses

  • Blue Cheeses, such as Roquefort will be balanced out with a nutty honey, such as our White Honey
  • Hard Cheeses, such as Parmesano-Reggiano, pair nicely with herbal honey
  • Soft Cheeses, such as Ricotta and Burrata, go well with honeys with citrus undertones. Try the Chamiso “Rabbit Brush” Honey
  • Stinky but delicious cheeses, such as an Époisses de Bourgogne can be paired with a honey with some muskiness such as our Colorado Clover Honey.

Bread and Crackers

  • Great vehicle for honey, dipping bread into warmed honey is a simple pleasure. Taste some local sourdough bread with a honey that will pop, such as Grampa’s Tamarisk Honey

Chocolate

  • Balance the sweetness of certain honeys with a dark 70% or more chocolate bar.

Charcuterie

  • Smoked, Salted or Cured meats are a perfect choice when pairing honey because of their opposite flavors and each balancing each other out.

Desserts

  • Sweet items should be prepared beforehand and served accordingly. Highlight not only the honey flavor, but play on the texture and viscosity of it as well. Some sweet treats to try: Baklava, Honey Caramels or Fritters in Honey Syrup.

Liquid Pairings

Not only can you pair honey with solid foods, you can also pair honeys with beverages. Use it as a natural substitute for simple syrup in drinks. Not only will you use much less, but your flavors will be heightened by the natural syrup. Showcase drinks with seasonal fruits and herbs, like mojitos and sweeten them with honey. Your guests will be surprised and you’ll even be improving their health. Here are some drinks to serve: Mojitos, Mint Juleps, and Sangria.

Party Set-up

  • Glassware/Serving Pieces: Choose glassware according to beverages served. As for serving pieces, each guest should receive their own palette of honeys, going from lightest in colors to deepest in color.
  • Have glass water pitchers for guests to clean their palates between tastings.
  • Develop a Honey Tasting Notes worksheet or use this one to track your favorites, jot down perfect (or horrible) pairings and to take notes of flavors!