Abutting the French Riviera along the sands of Cannes, Le Majestic Hotel is aptly named. It is, quite obviously, pretty dang majestic. Emanuele Balestra is tasked with crafting cocktails befitting that majesty. It’s not exactly an easy lift, but thankfully the self-described barman and bar director of the Bar Galerie du Fouquet at the luxury property is zany enough to pull it off with aplomb—and maybe an apple or a pear for good measure.
This mad scientist of mixology loves to play with flavor. Balestra vaporizes the essence of fruits in his very own cocktail lab, coming away with perfume garnishes. He works with glassblowers to design vessels best suited to enhance those specific aromas. And in the case, specifically, of the Bomb Honey, he pulls the namesake nectar from active beehives atop the hotel rooftop.
“I am focused on incorporating the bounty of Cannes’s local offerings into my drinks program at Le Majestic,” he tells Thrillist. “For me, the non-alcoholic ingredients are just as important as the alcoholic ingredients.” For most of his guests, the seaside setting enhances the potency of both. But you needn’t be a barman-botanist nor be perched alongside the French Riviera in order to conjure up some of Balestra’s magic.
Despite the bartender’s fondness for complexity, it’s actually fairly uncomplicated to recreate the Bomb Honey at home…provided you can get your hands on Double Jus 30 & 40.
“It tastes like a mix between cider and Calvados, providing a deep apple flavor,” he says of the aperitif produced in Normandy. In fact, if you can’t find it stateside, you can actually split the base between…wait for it…hard cider and Calvados and arrive at something largely similar. “With its rich aroma, complemented by the bergamot honey and Thai basil, this cocktail touches all of the senses of the palate.”
Make it for friends at your next cocktail party and it’s certain to stir up quite the buzz. Especially if you BYO bees.