I attended the Red Bee Liquid Gold event at Red Bee Honey. I paid for my ticket and was provided with complimentary products as compensation for my time, but all opinions are 100% my own.
This past weekend, I drove along idyllic country roads that wind around classic New England homes and trees dusted with snow. My destination was on the right: a tall, wooden fence marked simply with a “77.” Beyond the driveway, I found a two-story wooden barn.
To my surprise, the barn was decked out with rustic and beautiful decor reminiscent of a cross between Anthropologie and a fairytale cottage. And it contained shelves upon shelves of single-origin honeys produced by bees in hives located just outside.
Not just any honeys, though. The flavors were as exotic as can be: blueberry, buckwheat, orange blossom, cranberry, and star thistle, to name a few.
The Story Behind the Beekeeper
The magical venue is Red Bee Honey in Weston, Connecticut. I was there to taste the honey and sample natural skincare products along with a group of fellow Connecticut bloggers.
Owner and renowned beekeeper Carla Marina Marchese was our gracious host. Let me tell you: she knows her stuff. She’s written two books on honey and bees, is the founder of the American Honey Tasting Society, and has appeared on shows like ABC’s The Chew.
After tasting fresh honey from a beehive in a friend’s backyard in 2000, Marina quit her job, became a beekeeper, and dedicated her career to beekeeping and honeymaking.
It was during a visit to Montalcino, Italy (the “City of Honey”) that she grew interested in the diverse types of varietal honey which are determined by the type of nectar the honeybees gather.
Motivated by the philosophy of terroir in wine-making—how the natural environment imparts distinct tastes and flavors—she ultimately decided to apply this concept to something new: honey tasting.
Honey Tasting at Red Bee’s Honey Barn
Honey tasting we did on Sunday afternoon! After everyone mixed and mingled a bit, our group sampled a variety of the honey varietals Marina’s bees produce on site. We tried the buckwheat, orange blossom, blueberry, and creamy clover honey.
We enjoyed each honey on its own and drizzled on top of fresh ricotta and yogurt. Bee pollen, fresh honeycomb, pomegranate arils, and cacao were available for our topping pleasure, too. I could not get enough of the ricotta with the blueberry honey!
If I had to pick favorites, I thought the buckwheat honey, which was darker in color and deeper in flavor than most typical honeys, was so unique. The blueberry quickly won me over as well.
I couldn’t leave without snagging a jar of the latter and have been enjoying the mild and sweet flavor it adds to my nightly tea. I think it would be absolutely amazing drizzled on blueberry pancakes, too!
Besides the honey, we also enjoyed the most delicious tea- and honey-infused gin cocktails featuring Ardor Tea Co.’s Chamomile Bliss tea. They were so good I asked for the recipe, and it’s pretty simple:
1/4 cup chamomile bliss tea, 1/3 cup boiling water, 4 tablespoons honey, 2/3 cup fresh meyer lemon juice, 1 1/4 cups dry gin or vodka, and 2 1/2 cups ice. Steep the tea in boiling water for 4 minutes, then strain and add honey. Pour tea/honey mixture and remaining ingredients over ice.
Sampling Honey-Based Natural Skincare
After honey and cocktails, we sampled a variety of skincare products made from natural ingredients, like the honey produced on-site and olive oil. You can’t much more local than that!
I’m so glad I discovered Red Bee Honey and can’t wait to plan another visit to bring a few friends or family members back. The grounds are truly enchanting, the honey is absolutely delicious, and I LOVED meeting a few fellow bloggers in the area! I cannot say enough good things about Marina and her honey barn.
Big thanks to Marina and her team at Red Bee Honey for inviting us, to Nonee at Nonee’s World for organizing this event on behalf of the Connecticut Bloggers Collective, to Leaf & Ardor Tea Co. for the delicious tea, and to Stems + Co for the gorgeous flowers. Check them all out – they are truly awesome people and companies!
Visit Red Bee Honey
77 Lyons Plain Road
Weston, CT 06883
Are you local or planning a visit to the area? Red Bee sells all of its honey and honey-based skincare in the honey barn, and you can schedule a visit by appointment by emailing Red Bee. If you’d rather, check the Events tab on their website for a variety of fun honey-based tastings and events throughout the year.