This New Mixology Trend Is Actually All of Your Beeswax

Beeswax is being used to transform cocktails at a number of high-end cocktail bars

Close-up of bees and honeycomb. Another hive product, beeswax, is being used in a number of cocktails.
It's not just honey that's transforming your cocktails
Hein Van Tonder / EyeEm / Getty

We already know it’s good to replace sugar with honey. But for bartenders, they’re taking their bee love a step further and embracing another hive product: beeswax, according to VinePair.

Beeswax is the wax secreted by bees to make honeycombs, which can be used in products like candles and wood polishes but is also edible and “slightly soluble in alcohol [and] quite soluble in the higher order alcohols,” according to Bee Culture.

The forerunner of the bar beeswax movement is world-renowned mixologist  Ryan Chetiyawardana (a.k.a. Mr. Lyan), who is currently using beeswax-lined bottles at his subterranean Washington, D.C. cocktail bar Silver Lyan.

“It initially started as I studied social insects as part of my biology degree, and I’m obsessed with honey,” says Chetiyawardana. “It has drawn us from both a flavor and texture point of view, and from the early days of [London’s] White Lyan’s Beeswax Old Fashioned it’s been something we’ve been excited to see in different applications — from working with Nordic Food Lab to debuting the technique on our MasterClass series, it’s been amazing to see what different people have done with the ingredient.”

Beeswax can change from hive to hive, but it can add body, flavor and aromatics to a drink. Some other bars have experimented with beeswax-infused bourbon (at New York’s Riverpark, where the beeswax infusion is created using a sous vide), infused Pisco (at New York’s Mace), barrel-aged beeswax gin (at Seattle’s In the Heart Speakeasy) and in Scotch cocktails (The Night Nurse at NYC’s new Hawksmoor).

The purpose can vary from drink to drink, for the Penicillin-inspired Night Nurse, it adds texture “and some really nice floral top notes,” says Hawksmoor bar manager Adam Montgomerie.


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