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On the Greek island of Mykonos, Shawn Thomas heads to a local farm to harvest honey and fresh herbs to create a refreshing 2-layer elixir. Presented by Grey Goose.

Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Transcript

- I'm Shawn Thomas. I'm on the island of Mykonos and this is Local Flight, a show where I travel to some of the best bars in the world to meet amazing mixologists and challenge them to create innovative cocktails using unique local ingredients. In this episode of Local Flight, we're gathering honey and herbs for a refreshing summer sipper. Known as the great glamour island of Greece, Mykonos offers visitors a combination of style, sunshine, and beautiful sandy beaches. Blue skies, whitewashed houses, and landmark windmills are iconic to the island. Located on one of the smallest and most exquisite beaches here, Kalua's ability to elegantly transform a spot for a relaxing cocktail or exceptional bite into an unforgettable party, makes this place one of the hottest summer destinations in Mykonos. I'm meeting up with Constantinos Hatzis to find out what summertime travelers like to drink on the edge of the Aegean Sea. He suggested I start with a local favorite, the Paranga Spicy Cocktail made with tequila, passion fruit, ginger, and jalapeno. Cheers. My first drink in Mykonos. That's wonderful, mm. Delicious. I've never had a passion fruit drink with ginger before and they make a really great team. Yeah, it's tasty. - It's a very nice combination. - Not too tart. The aromatics are wonderful. Delicious, my friend. - [Constantinos] Thank you. - [Shawn] So, first time in Mykonos. So people obviously come here for the beaches, views like this, incredible. I'm looking for something that's a little off the beaten path. - Okay. - Ingredients that definitely gives me a feel for local authentic Mykonos. And I was hoping you'd help me find some and then we would make a drink with it. - I know a perfect place for that. - [Shawn] You do? - Yeah. I have a friend of mine with a farm. So we can go over there and collect some ingredients for the cocktail. - [Shawn] Perfect. - Let's do it. - [Shawn] Adventure awaits. Constantinos suggested we hop on some scooters to get out of town and there's no better way to enjoy the scenery than this. On our way to the farm, we followed the coastline past Mykonos's iconic windmills. Most of which were built by the Venetians in the 16th century and can be seen by almost any vantage point in the city. After leaving his banking career in Athens in 1994, Nikos Simeonidis started Veoma Farm with his wife Alaine and daughter Demetra. In addition to growing fruit, vegetables, and herbs, they have 20 beehives producing delicious local honey. We're meeting up with Fran Brago, their on-site beekeeper, for an up close look at the honey and a taste of the local flora. - [Constantinos] I hear bees everywhere right now. - [Shawn] Wow, look at all those bees. They seem very calm right now. Fran takes great care to clean each frame of the hive before the honey is harvested. Oh my god, that is-- - It's beautiful, right? - [Shawn] Yes. Look at that. - [Constantinos] So we can use the honey right now. - [Shawn] It's pretty incredible. Look how much there is. - Okay, so this the best part of the honey. - [Shawn] The middle? - Yeah. - [Shawn] Wow. - [Constantinoss] Viola. - So try and tell me. - [Shawn] Okay, I will. It's not too rich, it's very light. This just taste like flowers. Like honeysuckle-- - The honey here in Mykonos, it's not from one flower. It's from-- - A whole bunch of different kinds. It's delicious. This should be plenty, yes? - [Constantinos] Yup, we're ready. - Thank you very much. - [Fran] Thank you. - This is great. Dangerous but definitely worth it. Part of what makes this honey so delicious is a result of what the bees are pollinating around the farm. Demetra invited us into her garden to harvest a few of those ingredients for our cocktail. - Here we have basil in different forms. So this a wide leaves and the smaller ones. - And this is rosemary. - [Demetra] Rosemary, yes. - Let's take one or two of those, perhaps. - [Shawn] All right there you go. So we have rosemary, some basil. - Here you have lavender. - [Constantinos] Can you hold on, please? - Yeah, sure. Are you gonna get some sage? - [Constantinos] Yeah. - [Shawn] The smell of this whole basket is like the most aromatic basket ever. - Yes, it is. Explosion of smells. - Have all the taste in Mykonos. - Yes. As an unexpected treat, the family invited us to join them for a lunch of traditional homemade fare using all the fresh, just picked ingredients grown right here. Alaine cooked up some Greek delicacies for all to enjoy on their picture perfect garden terrace. So we got a lot of herbs and a lot of honey. - Okay but I have a great idea, Shawn. - [Shawn] What? - Let's go to the beach. - [Shawn] I can never turn down an invitation to the beach. - [Constantinos] Let's go then. - To the beach! Constantinos knew just the location to put the finishing touches on our farm bounty. What a perfect end to a beautiful day. - So now, we have the fire, we have the honey and we have the herbs. So, we gonna take some herbs. Okay, and now, we will try to burn-- - [Shawn] The ends? - Yeah. Just a little bit. And then you have to put it inside the jam and close it. - [Shawn] Okay. - So we create an infusion, honey with herbs. Like that. Can you see the smoke inside? - [Shawn] Oh yeah. So you think that smoke will just get all throughout the honey and infuse it? - [Constantinos] Yeah if you let it in for a few hours. - Yeah, it's nice the herbs were fresh so they weren't charred too much. You know, they just smoked. Pretty cool. I look forward to tasting this. All right, fire is out. How long will it take to infuse? - A day so we have to go back to the bar, leave it for the night, and we will see what's going on tomorrow. - [Shawn] Cool. Mykonos, often referred to as the island of the winds offers all levels of kite-surfers the opportunity to cruise and take in the picturesque scenery from the water. I've got a few hours before I meet back up with Constantinos. So Alexander Kutzoles is getting me outfitted for my first ever kite-surfing lesson. - [Alexander] It's very simple. You pull the right side, you go to the right site. - [Shawn] Okay. - [Alexander] Okay. The kite is gonna fall like a flag and this what gonna happen with the real kite as well. - [Shawn] Sure. - [Alexander] Okay? Good, okay. - [Shawn] One thing is for sure, I have a new appreciation for how hard this sport really is. Thanks for showing me the ropes my friend. Appreciate it. - [Alexander] No worries. It was our pleasure. - With a real understanding of just how beautiful and majestic Mykonos is, I'm excited to see what Constantinoss has in store for me back at Kalua. How's our honey doing? - I think we are okay. We have everything here for one night so I think it's very smokey right now. - I'd love to try it. Let me see how it smells. Wow. I think we did a good job. It doesn't smell too powerful. - [Constantinos] It's so nice. - Smells like a nice infusion. - [Constantinos] So now we have to take the honey out. - [Shawn] All right, look at that. The color's changed too. It's gotten a little darker. I wonder if there was some oxidation happening overnight. - [Constantinoss] Now we have melt it. Oh my god, it's so nice. - [Shawn] It looks delicious. - [Constantinoss] Do you want to try? - I would love to try some. Here, just right off the plate? - [Constantinos] Yeah, but I have to try also. - Yeah, I can taste the thyme. - Oh my god, that's so yummy. - I can taste the rosemary. A little bit of the smoke. - It's so smokey, it's so nice. - So, you think you're gonna be able to use that in a drink? - Yeah, I think so yes. I have a great idea. - [Shawn] Cool. - [Constantinoss] So we have to put some honey. - [Shawn] Look at the amber color on that. It's just beautiful. - Oh my god. - [Shawn] It smells so great. - [Constantinoss] Perfect. So we have the cucumber slice. We're gonna put it inside the drink. - [Shawn] Oh look at that, you julienned it. - Yeah, so you're gonna have two different garnish. Now, this is fresh lemon. We have almost a part, okay. - [Shawn] Okay. - [Constantinos] And this is homemade basil that I did before. - [Shawn] Basil syrup? - Basil syrup. Half part because you know, it's so strong. And this is homemade syrup, part from cucumber. Has already inside lemon and some sugar. It's half part. And now I have a Greek aperitif. - [Shawn] Which one? - It's Mastiha. Yeah, it's very nice. It grow up in the tree. It's like a gum. - [Shawn] Tree gum. - [Constinine] Yeah, like a tree gun. - [Shawn] No kidding, I've never had that before. - [Constantinoss] You can try some. - [Shawn] That'd be great. - It's half part. It goes, the taste is strong. It's with less alcohol but the taste is strong. - So they just ferment this right from the tree sap? - Exactly, my friend. - Wow. - [Constantinoss] It's very nice, right? - Yeah, extremely vegetal, slightly sweet. It's a great addition. - It's gonna be perfect. Now, we can put the Grey Goose. We need two parts of that. Now we're gonna build it but we're gonna put crushed ice inside until the middle, okay, my friend? - [Shawn] Yes. - And now, now that we have the herbs with the honey together, we're gonna put it in the middle of the ice. - [Shawn] Interesting. So you're creating almost a line in the drink. - Yes, it's like two different cocktails in the same cocktail. And we do that-- - I see, so the honey will harden because it's gonna get cold. And it will actually create a layer. - Perfect. And this is my favorite straw. - [Shawn] Oh, lemongrass. Cool. - When you drink something, you drinking from the bottom, okay. But now we gonna start the opposite way. You're gonna start drinking here. - [Shawn] From the top. - Yeah, from the top. And when you are in the middle, you have to mix it all together. - [Shawn] Okay. - So we have two different flavors. Here it's more bitter and when you mix the herbs and honey, it's gonna be more sweet. And we need rosemary also and fresh basil. And now you can try. - All right so drink from the top first. Give it a little stir in the middle. And then drink from the bottom. - Exactly, so you're gonna have two different taste. - Okay. Wow, okay. So from the top layer, I'm getting all cucumber. It's very sharp, very fresh. Okay, now I'm gonna mix it. - Now you have to mix it all together with the honey and the herbs. - Honey, herbs. I have to drink from the bottom. Wow, it's like seriously a different cocktail. Now I get way more basil, way more rosemary, the cucumber's almost gone. That's fascinating. - So it's a very nice combination. What do you think? - It's the first two layer drink I've ever had in my entire life. - Really? - [Shawn] It's delicious. You have to try it. - Yeah. - [Shawn] Yeah, please. - [Constantinos] I really love this drink. It's so nice. - Okay, we have to name this drink. - Yeah, we have to name this one. Do you have an idea? - Let's think, um. Obviously we used the honey as our main ingredient here with herbs. We our on the island of Mykonos. So I'm thinking we draw those two together. Okay I got an idea. So it's got this beautiful amber color, right? - Okay, yes. So we find the first word. Amber right? - [Shawn] Amber. And then I'm thinking because we are here on the island of Mykonos, we say the Amber Isle. - No, it sounds nice. - [Shawn] Do you like it? - [Constantinoss] Yeah, it's very good. So cheers. - [Shawn] The Amber Isle. - [Constantinoss] Amber Isle. - [Shawn] Thank you. - It's nothing my friend. Thank you for showing me this wonderful place. I had an amazing time. I ate like a Greek, I drank like a Greek, and now I feel like an authentic Greek so thank you for showing me. So be honest with me, were you afraid of those bees? Thanks for watching and join me next week for the season finale in Ibiza, an island with a lot of heart.