My favorite job ever was working in Marketing & PR at the Minnesota State Fair during the summers after my sophomore and junior years in college.
I got a lot of exposure to humanity and answered lots of unusual questions. My favorite being: “Is it the real Barney or just some guy in a purple dinosaur suit?” Yes, and yes.
One of the PR issues that I had to address was protestors who were opposed to the beekeeping demonstrations showcased daily. Now, mind you, this was 1994. The challenges of hive collapse and the extinction of many native bees was not as well known as it is today.
The protesters stated that the beekeeping and harvesting of honey was the “enslavement” of the bees. I didn’t quite get it at the time.
Fast forward to now and our vegan diet, which does not include honey. Bees and insects represent the health of world in many ways.
So this modified version of a Bee’s Knees cocktail is made with agave instead of honey. I steeped the agave with lavender from the garden, which is healthier too since it has a lower glycemic index. It makes for a perfect end of day pre-dinner cocktail at the lake.
I am going to admit, however, that I have not fully honored the respect of bee byproducts in my life. I have fallen in love with an artistic technique called encaustic acrylic painting.
I finally bought 2 pieces from a local artist–Jodi Reeb–who specializes in this technique using beeswax heated to 200 degrees mixed with acrylic paint. I simply love it! Layers upon layers so the colors merge and meld. The finished piece has a glean to it and an uneven surface. The landscapes make me feel very content (despite not being vegan). It’s ok to make some exceptions right?
Bee’s knees cocktail (vegan)
- 1/2c agave, steeped with 3-4 lavender sprigs for at least a day
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
Steep the agave with lavender for several days on the counter. Shake 3 shots (about 6 tablespoons) with half of the lemon (about 2 tablespoons) and 1/4 cup of the agave in a martini shaker filled with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass, garnish with lemon slice and lavender flower.
**Recipe makes 2. Decide if you want to share 😉