It makes the Nick & Toni’s chocolate honey cake, adds a sweet balance to the bitterness of Campari in a Blood + Honey cocktail and is the classic companion to tea. Honey may not steal the show of any dish but it’s the ingredient you can’t do without. The next time you reach for a jar, reach for a local one. From chili-infused honey to buckwheat to pure raw, New York artisans are producing some of the best honey around.
Tom’s Honey Bees, Bay Shore & Southold
With more than 75 honeybee hives on the North Fork and South Shore, Tom’s Honey Bees is able to produce a wide variety of honey products, including candles, lip balms and natural soaps in addition to wildflower honey. The flavor of the honey varies year to year based on the season, location of hive and the weather but in general you’ll find Tom’s Honey Bees’ honey to have an easy taste. Go.
Wave Hill, Bronx
Most honeys are sweet, but not many of them let you taste summer. With flavors of honeysuckle, jasmine and violet, the honey you’ll want to scoop up is at the Wave Hill Conservatory. Warning: it’s produced is small batches. Check their events calendar for honey tastings and meeting the beekeepers workshops. Go.
Mike’s Hot Honey, Brooklyn
For those that like sweet with a bit of heat, there’s Brooklyn-based Mike’s Hot Honey. Founder Michael Kurtz takes New York and New Jersey wildflower honey and infuses it with chili peppers for a dynamic, versatile dish. It’s been known as an ingredient on pizza, chicken, cocktails and even in ice cream. Go.
Buckabee Honey, Huntington Station
Buckabee Honey produces a variety of wildflower honey from apiaries on the North Shore. This is the place to find creamed honey (naturally crystallized honey with a smooth spreadable consistency), honey sticks and of course raw honey. The family behind Buckabee Honey heats the honey only to 110 and lightly strains it, making it almost as pure as you can get. Go.
Andrew’s Honey, Manhattan
With dozens of hives on the rooftops and balconies across Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens the honey at Andrew’s Honey can vary wildly in taste. Instead of the standard wildflower honey, opt for one of the varieties such as the Buckwheat with a malty flavor or the Orange Blossom with notes of citrus. Go.
Spy Coast Bee Farm, Setauket-East Setauket
Bee stings are just part of the job for Wayne Vitale aka the Spy Coast Bee Man. The bees on his farm on Setauket Harbor produce Setauket Gold honey, a bright tangy honey that he credits to the clean air on the Long Island Sound. Go.
The Hamptons Honey Company, Southampton
If the adorable, squeezable honey bears don’t make you want to try this honey, the flavor will. The Hamptons Honey Company sells honey sourced from a variety of Long Island bee keepers producing totally raw honey, wildflower honey with a dark color and robust flavor and clover honey with a delicate flavor and light color, and a taste that makes it ideal for baking. Go.