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A North Fork restaurant is celebrating Earth Day all month with a new cocktail that’s all the buzz.

The North Fork Table & Inn is set to debut Barn & The Bees, an Earth Day-inspired cocktail, this Friday, April 1. Throughout the month of April, the restaurant plans to donate $1 from every Barn & The Bees cocktail purchase to The Bee Conservancy, a nonprofit focused on protecting bees, safeguarding the environment and securing food justice through education, research, habitat creation and advocacy.

“Even in our cocktail program, North Fork Table and Inn works with local produce and understands the importance of the growers around us. Without bees, over 70% of that produce wouldn’t be possible,” said Amy Racine, Beverage Director for John Fraser’s JF Restaurants. “We want to showcase our need for their survival in this honey cocktail.”

The drink was created by Racine and her beverage team using a homegrown sweetener: honey harvested from the restaurant’s own beehives. The ‘Red Barn Honey’ is raw, meaning it retains health benefits and antioxidants that are often stripped away during filtration processes that store-bought honeys typically undergo.

It also uses The Botanist Gin, a B Corp certified spirit that meets a rigorous set of environmental, social, accountability and transparency standards.
It’s produced at the Bruichladdich Distillery on the Isle of Islay in the Hebrides off of Scotland’s west coast using 22 hand-foraged botanicals.

Racine said the sustainable distillery is a perfect match to their honey, extracted just steps away from the restaurant, whose beekeeping effort helps support the local ecosystem and growth of trees, flowers and food.

The North Fork Table & Inn will donate $1 from each Barn & The Bees cocktail sold in April to The Bee Conservancy. (Courtesy photo)

The Bee Conservancy was founded in 2009 by master beekeeper Guillermo Fernandez, who saw the decline of bees — honeybees in particular — as a global threat. 
Since 1947, the organization estimates the honeybee population in the United States has declined by 60%, a troubling statistic considering that bees pollinate 1 in 3 bites of food we eat, from fruits and vegetables to almonds and even coffee.

According to the Bee Conservancy, the top threats to pollinators are habitat loss, climate change, chemical pesticides, invasive plant species and parasites.

Small steps, like ditching synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, planting a bee garden or supporting local beekeepers can make a difference.

Earth Day is Friday, April 22 so there’s plenty of time to set plans to celebrate Mother Earth by getting out there for a beach cleanup or nature walk.

In the meantime, raise your glass for good with this cocktail, courtesy of the North Fork Table & Inn.

Barn & The Bees 

2 oz The Botanist Gin 

.75 oz lime juice

.5 oz North Fork Table & Inn Red Barn honey

4 thyme sprigs

Add a dash of black pepper, middle and fine strain on the rocks. Garnish with thyme.