Kardea Brown's Favorite Cocktail Of 2023 Features Salted Honey

As the host of Food Network's "Delicious Miss Brown" and founder of the New Gullah Supper Club, celebrity chef Kardea Brown knows a thing or two about showstopping flavors. And though she may be best known for signature dishes like Gullah red rice and chow-chow, she's also an impressive mixologist in her own right. Brown's go-to holiday cocktail is a tie between her affectionately named Swamp Water — a palette-pleasing fusion of lemon, sweet tea, and ginger beer — and Lowcountry Mint Julep recipes.

Given her gastronomic expertise, we couldn't help but wonder what type of drink Brown might order — or, better yet, what her favorite sip of the year might be. In an exclusive interview with Tasting Table, the Food Network star serendipitously revealed the answer to both while appearing at the Honeyland Festival in Sugar Land, Texas. The event, sponsored by Pepsi Dig In, highlighted some of the best offerings from Black-owned food and beverage vendors across the country. So, which drink did Brown nominate as her favorite cocktail of 2023? "Salted honey in a cocktail," she tells Tasting Table, created by Brown & Balanced founder (and fellow Honeyland featured guest) Josh Davis. Ahead, we'll explore the ins and outs of Brown's beverage of choice.

Here's what goes into Kardea's favorite cocktail

Interestingly, Kardea only sampled her pick for the year's best drink at Honeyland shortly before speaking to Tasting Table. "[My best sip] actually happened today," Brown said at the time of the interview. "[Josh Davis] did a cocktail with salted honey, kind of as a simple syrup, but he did it with honey and salt. So that was the highlight — it was amazing." Davis, the founder of Brown & Balanced and Honeyland's resident cocktail experience creator, produced a pair of honeyed sips made with spirits from Black-owned brands.

The first cocktail, known as Honey in H-Town, featured a blend of Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Aged Whiskey, fresh lemon, and honey syrup. Its slightly spicier counterpart, the Hot Honey Margarita, contained a mixture of TCapri Tequila, agave, lime, and hot honey instead. Moreover, Brown and Davis appeared together in a live cooking demonstration, "Keepin' It Gullah Geechee," where Davis whipped up a special honey-flavored drink with Uncle Nearest 1884, a small-batch whiskey that received the "World's Best" title at the 2019 and 2020 World Whiskies Awards. Honeyland festivalgoers shared Brown's praise for Davis' craft, as both mellow beverages proved to be bestsellers throughout the event. While the official honey cocktail recipe is under wraps for now, those wishing to try a taste of Honeyland at home can experiment using Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Aged Whiskey or TCapri Tequila for best results.