It was two years ago after a fishing trip when Brent Robinson and his mate Gordon McKerchar first had the idea of putting honey into bourbon whisky. They went right ahead and mixed some up – it wasn’t half bad. It took a while, but they finally came up with the best mix using raw, single apiary honey from the backwoods of Puhoi. It’s a dark, smooth honey from multiple flora, including kahikatea, rewarewa and pohutukawa, as well as manuka. “It’s one of the top three in the States,” says Brent of the bourbon itself. “But it’s also top secret. I can say that it arrives in big oak barrels from Kentucky.”
Bourbon is currently one of the fastest-growing spirit markets in the world. There are other honey bourbon products out there, but most tend to use a flavoured syrup rather than actual honey. There’s a sediment in the bottle – it’s the raw honey binding to the oaky pigment in the bourbon. Brent says, “We do a filtered version, but most people find that it’s just not the same. They just shake up the unfiltered bottle; they love the velvety warmth.”
Testing hundreds of combinations for the perfect blend, they hit the jackpot with the tenth batch of the final infusion. They tossed it around among their friends, who called it, for want of a better name ‘Batch 10’. It stuck, and people raved about it. Brent and Gordon started to wonder if they should market it.
They took a punt: lucked out on the award-winning, New Zealand-designed bottle, and put it out there at a few shops just before Christmas 2015. It was gone in a flash.
The team is now quite excited. They’ve gone into full production. At the end of May, Batch 10 Honey Bourbon sold into some major stores and restaurants, and is well on its way to becoming the Next Big Thing. Get yours while it’s hot – served cold!
- 1¾ cups fresh cream • 500g mascarpone
- 2 cups espresso coffee • 26 x sponge finger biscuits
- 1 cup batch10 Honey Bourbon
- Cocoa powder for dusting
- Place the cream in a bowl and whisk until soft peaks form then fold through the mascarpone and set aside.
- Combine batch10 Honey Bourbon and espresso.
- Quickly (or not so quickly if you like your batch10 Tiramisu a little more generous with liquid - there’s nothing worse than a dry tiramisu) dip both sides of the sponge fingers into the espresso mixture and use them to layer the base of a mid-sized serving dish.
- Spoon half the cream mixture over the layer of fingers (not your own fingers… the ones in the dish) and then dip the remaining sponge fingers before placing a second layer upon the cream layer and spooning over the remaining cream mixture.
- Dust the top with cocoa and refrigerate for at least an hour prior to serving. For best results refrigerate overnight and serve the following day.
The question remains as to what you do with remaining espresso/batch10 coffee blend – well you drink it of course. It’s delicious.