I only recently stumbled over a recipe on oxymel in a vintage recipe book, and having no idea what oxymel was, my curiosity was awakened. Oxy+mel, meaning “acid and honey”, is an old recipe that dates back to antiquity – yes, way before Christ was born. It was mainly used for medical purposes at that time, and most often consumed straight or diluted with water.

To my knowledge, it has not been used in cocktail recipes, and not recently, so I believe its time for an oxymel revival. Oxymel is the perfect balance of sour and sweet, vinegar and honey, loaded with healing herbs, adding a pungent taste to the mixture. This powerful agent will add an extra dimension to your cocktail; enhance all flavours, leaving you with a taste sensation out of the ordinary.

There are many different ways to make your oxymel. You can stir or shake it, make a vinegar reduction or infuse the honey and vinegar separately. The ingredients are 1 unit of vinegar, 2 units of honey and 4 units of water. There is also an endless list of herbs can be used; some examples are elderberries, fennel, thyme, oregano, and rosemary.

My suggestion is to give it a try with your favourite herbs that balances the other ingredients in the cocktail recipe, but use local honey and raw apple vinegar – to make the taste more authentic. Sometimes the biggest experiences lie in the simplest presentation.

Stay tuned for oxymel cocktails from Curfew Cocktail Bar in Copenhagen, Denmark.