So, we’d planned to have a long evening of cocktails with some friends last weekend. I’d intended mixing up some gin fizzes for everyone, maybe a jug of sherry cobbler, and depending on how the rugby went, play around with some meatier numbers sooner rather than later. The Six Nations would get watched, good foods would be eaten and a congenial time would be had. All very nice.

As it turned out, I’ve been laid up in bed with a cold that’s lasted a week and the others got to enjoy England being turned over by France. The cocktails fell by the wayside. Best laid plans and all that.

There will be more to follow on the cocktails that might have been, but I did manage to find at least some silver lining from all this, and it concerns hot lemon and honey.

I came across chilli honey for the first time in New York last January, and came back with squeezy bottle of Mike’s Hot Honey. So taken was the household, that a London equivalent, Wilderbee Urban Chilli Honey, found its way alongside shortly after. Both of them combine a delicious runny honey with a slow-growing chilli heat that’s delightful, be it on pizza or ice cream.

I found that when making my hot lemon and honey, a squirt of chilli honey alongside the standard stuff, lemon juice and maybe a stick of cinnamon was marvellous, underscoring the warming character of the drink without turning it into something actively spicy.

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