Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

Barenjager Honey Liqueur - Review

Barenjager Honey Liqueur is made with honey imported from Mexico

Of Bears and Bees

As fans of sweet German liqueurs and good ole American Kentucky bourbon, we were excited to try Bärenjäger Honey Liqueur, a savvy-sounding marriage of the two. This spirit whose name intriguingly translates to "bear hunter" dates back to the 15th century when it was created in Prussia to help hunters lure bears from their caves. Back then, the honey drink was a mead-like moonshine made from local honey. The recipe underwent a small change in the 18th century and today, a one-liter bottle of Bärenjäger contains a whopping 300 grams of honey, which is inexplicably imported from Mexico rather than made by Teutonic insects. Distilled from neutral grain alcohol, the 70 proof spirit has a lovely honey bouquet, but we're sorry to report that on the palate it is cloyingly sweet and tastes rather like artificial honey flavors. Due to its overarching sweetness, we weren't able to detect any herbal or spicy notes, and the bourbon flavor was lost on us, save for a slightly sharp edge somewhere in the back. Even letting the honey liqueur open up a bit on the rocks didn't improve the taste much. We hear it's a popular ingredient in artisanal cocktails and we're sure someone with a higher tolerance for sweets might find the saccharine honey flavors quite enjoyable.

by Sylvie Greil

Price: $28 (750 ml)

For more information, visit www.barenjagerhoney.com

Try this recipe for a German Manhattan, made with Barenjager Honey Liqueur

COCKTAIL RECIPE
German Manhattan

2 1/2 parts Bärenjäger Honey Liqueur
1/2 part sweet vermouth
2 dashes orange bitters

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass, stir and strain into a martini glass. Rim glass and garnish with a lemon peel.

Check out our review of Wild Turkey American Honey Liqueur

More Spirits
More Liqueurs

PBH043012
(Updated: 04/30/12 BH)

Craft breweries are a trend on the rise, with thousands opening worldwide. To help, we've compiled a list of our ten favorite brews you need to try.

Whether straight up or mixed into an Admiral Schley Punch, share a cheers to the American spirit by trying one of our top ten bourbons.