Honey is about to create quite a buzz in Garden City — it's the star of its own festival Sunday at the Cradle of Aviation.
“Honey is used in everything from baked goods to mustards to liquor,” says event producer Marvin Baum. “It’s also a good source of antioxidants, helps with acid reflux conditions and has an antibacterial quality. We want people to see all the things they can get from honey.”
Additionally, there will be a giant honeybee sculpture on display, a booth from the Long Island Beekeepers Club, a screening of the nature film "Backyard Wilderness," a scavenger hunt, face painting, children's activities and live music to round out the day.
Among the honey products that will be sold at the festival:
Upstate Warwick-based Magnolia House Honey sells more than 30 varieties of raw honey, including an alfalfa version sourced from hives near fields of the flower.
Owner Sandy Abrams says the 100 percent pure honey "has not been pasteurized whatsoever — it’s not filtered only strained to remove the debris from the hives.” Sixteen-ounce jars go for $14.
One standout is a creamed cinnamon honey. Abrams puts Madagascar cinnamon sticks wrapped in cheesecloth in clover honey for six months, then removes the solids and whips the mixture for 24 hours.
“It’s amazingly delicious,” she says. “I make cinnamon buns with them.”
Winter’s Nirvana, is a craft wine blended with honey and ginger by Pazdar Winery, based in upstate Scotchtown.
“Honey is an all-natural sweetener with many different levels,” says owner-winemaker David Pazdar. “People are trying to get away from the high-fructose corn syrup. This way they can have their sweetness and not feel guilty about it.”
Sample one-ounce cups will be offered at the festival while bottles ($12) and cases ($129) will be for sale.
Bars of honey and goat milk soap will be available via HoneyGramz of Douglaston for $8 per 4 oz.
“Honey is a natural moisturizer,” says owner Ruth Harrigan. “They come in seven different scents: lavender, honey oatmeal, eucalyptus, lilac, cherry almond, coconut mango and basil sage mint.”
Harrigan also sells mini 2 oz. portable filled honey bear containers ($5) with various romantic sayings such as “You’re so sweet, honey,” “Have a nice day, honey” and “I love you to the moon and back,honey.” She even offers holiday versions with seasonal sayings and Santa hats for $6.
Italian black truffle, pumpkin spice and chocolate mint are not desserts but rather flavors of infused honey from BeeWitched Bee from Northport. They are sold in honey pots that start at $10.
“It’s a secret how we do it,” says co-owner Neal Wechsler. “We use all-natural materials in the honey. If it’s lemon flavored, the entire lemon goes in. Once people have a taste, they are sold.”
They also sell bee wax products such as all-natural lip balm, which comes in 30 flavors ($4.50 each, three for $12.50), candles ($8 each, two for $15) and 40 scents of perfumes ($7 each or 3 for $20).
HONEY LIQUEUR & BOURBON
When it comes to the hard stuff, Niche Import Co. of Cedar Knolls, New Jersey, will serve up Bärenjäger's vodka-based honey liqueur and honey bourbon ($15 per 375 ml bottle).
“If bees could distill their own booze, this is what it would taste like,” says owner Jenny Manger. “It’s very forward with the honey taste.”
Very often these liquors are used to make a "beer sting," that being a shot tossed inside a beer stein to coat the glass before a craft brew is poured inside.
SWEET BEE’S HONEY FESTIVAL
WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Nov. 4 at The Cradle of Aviation in Garden City
INFO 516-572-4111, honeyfestival.com
ADMISSION $20 ($15 ages 2-12) includes museum admission