Acclaimed distiller William Chase gives a helping hand to bees…
It’s easy to overlook the integral importance of bees within the food chain and the role they play in pollinating flowering crops. In fact, bees, along with other insects, pollinate three-quarters of the world’s food crops and it is estimated that they are worth more than €22 billion annually to Europe’s agriculture industry.
It’s reassuring to hear, then, that William Chase, founder of the award-winning Chase Distillery, plans to add beehives to his estate distillery later this year as part of an effort to help local bee populations. Being someone who is involved in organic farming, Chase was naturally concerned about the plight of pollinating bees, and the addition of these winged honey-makers will certainly be in keeping with the eco spirit of his business. Chase’s distillery is housed in a converted hop kiln barn 30 miles north-west of Cheltenham, amongst 1000 acres of rolling potato fields, apple orchards and cattle pasture, and it is here that he grows, mashes and distils his own potatoes to create a product with true pedigree and provenance.
Along with using the bees to pollinate his crops, Chase also aims to use the bees’ delicious organic nectar in several honey-inspired cocktails. Bee cool and try out this special Chase cocktail, The Rhubarb Honey Fizz.
Ingredients (serves about 4)
2 tablespoons of honey
4 tablespoons of rhubarb compote
1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
350ml Chase Vodka
The juice of 1 lemon
Add the fennel to a tall, narrow-mouthed glass jar and add the vodka. Using a muddler, muddle the fennel for a few minutes. Then add the honey and mix in.
Next, add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into four thin tumblers filled with ice, top with sparkling water and garnish with a thin slice of lemon.