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“Do you crave a drink in the morning,” the doctor asked me.

I was having a home physical from my insurance company. They wanted to know my drinking habits. I pondered how to answer. Time, finally time for the truth. I summoned my courage.

“In the morning? I’ll kill anyone between me and macchiato.” I did not discuss my ultimate need for freshly squeezed orange juice. There is doctor-patient privacy and then there is just privacy.

Thing is, my favorite beverages number many that are sans alcohol. I know that alcohol can be an enhancement, that it can provide that the “jolt” that is quest many of us actually are pursuing when we drink. The caffeine in the macchiato is such a mechanism. So is the acid in the orange juice.

So here is how to get a jolt with Habanero Honey Syrup.

Yesterday, when posted this Habanero Honey Syrup, I suggested it should replace simple syrup in beverages like a margarita.

Here’s a non-alcoholic combination. Incorporate the syrup with apricot jam and lemon juice. Shake, stir, chill and imbibe.

This is my riff on the Sailing Off, a mocktail from Food & Wine Cocktails 2013. That recipe called for a 3-to-2 mix of lemon juice with ginger beer. I do like my ginger ale, and I might try adding ginger beer someday, but I just found this all too good sans ginger.

Oh, yes, I find the term “mocktail” incredibly derogatory. I know it is meant to be positive, but “mock” is mired in shadows that cannot be lit.

Apricot and Lemon and Habanero Honey Cooler

Yield: 1 cocktail


  • 3 ounces fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ounce habanero honey syrup
  • 2 tablespoons apricot preserves
  • Ice


Place the three ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice. Shake. Keep shaking. The syrup is viscous, the preserves doubly so, but that lemon juice and your shaking will quite thoroughly achieve liquefaction.

Use delicately. It’s hot.


Source: Food & Wine Cocktails 2013

Photo Information [top picture]: Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/5.6 for 1/10th second at ISO-3200