Wading through saccharine, artificial-tasting bottles in search of that unicorn—a truly delicious liqueur—is most often unrewarding and gag-inducing. But today, I'm here to tell you that magical creatures do exist, if you only look hard enough. Two of the most exceptional examples I've found are the new honey liqueurs from Bärenjäger.
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Making your own honey liqueur is dead simple. You don't have to do anything but heat the honey with some water and then mix it with vodka. I like to let the liqueur sit overnight to ensure the flavors are totally integrated, but if you're truly impatient you can use it right away. As much as I love Bärenjäger, when I compared it side-by-side I liked the homemade stuff just as much and it was a hell of a lot cheaper.
Mead is an ancient beverage made from just honey, water, and yeast. Modern versions can be sweet or dry, still or sparkling. It can be punched up with fruit or fruit juice (to make melomel), hops (to make miodomel), herbs (to make metheglin), or barley (to make braggot). Mead is very easy to brew—you simply mix the three ingredients and wait. But there are a few techniques and methods that can contribute to a superior mead.