Bee Milk was an obsession of mine long before I had my first hive of bees. A bazillion years ago when I was at Smith College I would wander down to the Iron Horse Cafe, take up an entire booth with my homework, and proceed to nurse a steamy mug of Orgeat while pretending to hit the books. Orgeat was a delicious concoction made from steamed milk, honey and almond syrup.
I didn’t drink another mug of Orgeat after graduating from college until about eight years ago when S. and I started keeping honeybees. With a steady supply of one of the three ingredients needed to make Orgeat –honey– I was suddenly back to drinking the delicious brew. Having two young children ensured that our refridgerator was never without milk. It turned out the only thing I lacked was almond syrup, so I used the almond extract which was already in my cupboard and the resulting beverage was delicious. Being obsessed with my bees I decided to changed the name of the drink to Bee Milk.
Fast forward several years. Two things happened within a few weeks of each other. My son R. broke his leg skiing and when he went back to school his health teacher Ms. H. informed the class that calcium helps to build bones. Now I have been telling both my kids that fact (and many more) for years, but you see I am the mom so most of what I say sounds like, “blah, blah, blah”. Hearing words of wisdom from someone you are not related to means it must be true. So now R. is quaffing milk by the gallon. Some of it cold and much of it in the form of steaming mugs of almond scented Bee Milk.
a mugful of milk
1-3 spoonfuls of honey (to taste)
1/2 – 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract (to taste)
Heat the milk. You can either warm it until steaming in a small saucepan or use a milk steamer which will give you some airy foam to slurp off the top. Either way is fine. Add the honey and almond extract to the mug and pour hot milk in while stirring. I prefer the lighter honeys – wildflower, raspberry blossom, American basswood, but it is a personal choice. My one suggestion is to try and buy your honey locally.