Cheers to a honey of a new year

KOVAL Distillery helps us kick off 5783 with honey-forward cocktails

KOVALNewYear image
Shofar So Good

A celebration for the birth of the world certainly calls for cocktails, and we've got you covered. Gather the family, reconnect with friends, and know that your libations are imbued with all of the traditional flavors that give us hope for a sweet new year.  

The recipes presented below feature a homemade Honey Cider Cordial. In this cordial, a handful of warming baking/mulling spices round out the tartness and sweetness of the honey, resulting in a luxurious, multi-purpose ingredient, suitable for use in a wide range of cocktails or teas.

For our first cocktail, Shofar So Good , the floral botanicals of KOVAL's gin mingle with the baking spices from the cordial, creating a tart base on top of which we layer Cranberry Gin Liqueur or sweet red wine, creating a beautiful apple-like color gradient. 

In the Honey Cider Mule, sharp, warming ginger balances the silky and oaky bourbon. This mixture is further energized by tart lime juice and our Honey Cider Cordial to brace us against the imminent cold of a Chicago winter or the judgment that will come on Yom Kippur. 




Shofar So Good  

1.5 oz KOVAL Dry Gin or Barreled Gin 

1 oz Honey Cider Cordial (recipe to follow) 

0.25 oz Lemon Juice 

1 dash Angostura Bitters 

0.25 oz KOVAL Cranberry Gin Liqueur or Sweet Red Wine 

Apple slice and cinnamon stick


Combine Dry/Barreled Gin, honey cider cordial, lemon juice, and bitters into a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously for 15 seconds. Strain into a short glass filled with new ice. Carefully float Cranberry Gin Liqueur or sweet red wine over the top of the drink. Garnish with a slice of apple and a cinnamon stick. 



Honey Cider Mule                  

1.5 oz KOVAL Bourbon 

0.50 oz Honey Cider Cordial (recipe to follow) 

0.50 oz Lime Juice 

2 oz Ginger beer 

Lime wheel and star anise pod 


Build ingredients over ice in a copper mug or short glass. Top with ginger beer and briefly stir to combine. Garnish with a star anise pod and a lime wheel. 


Honey Cider Cordial 

250g (or 1 cup) of Apple Cider 

250g  (or ¾ cup) of Honey 

3 cinnamon sticks 

1 clove 

6 black peppercorns 

½ star anise pod 

10 allspice berries 


In a small pot over medium heat, combine cider with spices and simmer for 15 minutes, being careful not to let it boil. Stir in the honey until it fully dissolves in the hot cider mixture. Carefully pour the contents of the pot, including the spices, into a quart sized container and chill fully in the fridge before using. Cordial will last for 2 weeks in the fridge. Yields approximately 2 cups. 



KOVAL Distillery, in Chicago's Ravenswood neighborhood, is one of the largest independent and woman-owned craft distilleries in the US.  

David Williams is General Manager of KOVAL Bar and Tasting Room. 


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