Woodside Honey


Several small colonies of bees can be found on a portion of our old family farm and namesake. Built in 1848 and standing proudly as the oldest home in Maplewood, Missouri it is notably listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Beekeeping was once considered a country enterprise but with the rich multiflora sources thriving in an urban landscape, the city offers a vast and nourishing palette for exceptional honey. And while one in three bites of our food depends upon the pollination of bees, urban beekeepers are contributing greatly to this process as an alarming number of bees are dying due to pesticides used in conventional farming, among other causes. Urban beekeeping is a niche practice throughout the United States and Europe where colonies of honey-bees flourish in major cities such as San Francisco, Manhattan and atop the Opera House in Paris.

Woodside Honey supports responsible practices that pay homage to the cultural traditions of food and their impact on the planet. Our efforts resonate with both a rich lineage of artisans and a contemporary consciousness. We believe that buying thoughtfully grown and locally produced food is a healthier alternative and simply makes good sense.

Beginning in February as trees start to bloom, our honeybees will travel upwards of two miles in search of early nectar sources and will continue their work until Autumn's end. Honey is collected in late Spring and Fall from the colony. Surplus honey is stored by the bees in smaller frames called "supers". Once collected, these frames are then placed in a machine which uses centrifugal force to extract the raw honey. It is then lightly filtered and packaged, with spring honey lighter in hue and the Fall a warm amber due to the differences in the seasonal flora. It takes the lifetime of nearly 300 hard-working bees to collect enough nectar to produce a four once jar of honey. And among the many benefits and delectable delights of consuming local raw honey, is the belief that it is an immunity booster for people with allergies. So enjoy your Woodside Honey, thoughtfully crafted with care for you.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Bee's Knee's

The Ritz-Carlton St. Louis, "Lobby Lounge"

this is the second year in a row that the lobby lounge at the ritz-carlton in st. louis has created a summer speciality cocktail menu featuring woodside urban honey. the list may be expanded, but for now there are three cocktails to choose from.

honey blossom:
goslings dark rum, orange juice, served on the rocks with a 1 oz. jar of woodside honey on the side.

bee's knee's:
gin, fresh squeezed lemon, orange juice, woodside honey

woodside honey lemonade:
jack daniels, tuaca, sour mix, woodside honey

originally the phrase "it's the bee's knee's" referred to something small and insignificant, but during the flapper and jazz age this phrase became to represent something really good. 

during this era of prohibition, the "bee's knee's" cocktail was created when the quality of bootleg gin was generally quite poor. honey and lemon were most likely used to mask the taste of really strongly flavored gin, and the subsequent smell of strong liquor on a person's breath.

thank goodness prohibition didn't last, but this classic cocktail did. over the years i have seen it on many a cocktail menu, but not until the ritz-carlton put it on their drink menu did i try it. i discovered that it is a simple and very tasty drink! 

classically, it is made with gin, lemon and honey creating essentially a gin sour but, the subtle variations of a good "bee's knee's" cocktail comes from the use of a honey with great floral notes, and nuance of botanicals found in many great gins on the market. you can experiment with your own variations, such as making a honey syrup infused with lavender or mint, or adding orange juice, but whatever you decide upon will certainly be really good on a hot summer's day!

here is a "bees knee's" cocktail recipe:

  • 1 1/2 oz gin
  • 1 oz. woodside urban honey syrup*
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • ice cubes
  • cocktail shaker
  • strainer
  • martini/coupe glass
  • lemon slice as garnish
combine gin, honey syrup, lemon juice in shaker
add ice, shake vigorously for 10 seconds
strain into glass
add lemon wedge as garnish

*woodside urban honey simple syrup (makes 1/2 cup) 


1/4 cup of honey

1/4 cup of water

combine honey and water in saucepan and heat for a few minutes (do not exceed 170 degrees) until 
honey and water become a light syrup.

pour into a clean container, cover, and refrigerate for up to two weeks.