My wife’s Aunt Kay in Florida sends us a really cool gift every year. It’s a box of Cushman’s HoneyBells from Florida. They look like fiery red bell-shaped oranges, and they are the sweetest and juiciest oranges you will ever have! But the cool thing about them is that they’re not really oranges at all.
HoneyBells are a unique natural hybrid of Dancy Tangerine and Duncan Grapefruit. The plants are grafted to a sour orange root stock, and when the tree reaches maturity, it looks just like a grapefruit tree…but with oranges growing on it.
HoneyBells are available for a very short time every winter…and that time is NOW. So if you’re at all interested, check out http://www.honeybell.com/. Cushman’s was bought out by the fruit giant Harry & David some years ago, but the excellent quality of the product and their fine service has not changed.
I usually make my Algarita, my twist on a margarita, with pineapple juice. But when I get those HoneyBells in the mail, my recipe takes on a new twist:
2 oz Patron silver tequila
1/2 oz Cointreau orange liqueur
4 oz fresh squeezed HoneyBell juice
1/2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
Fill a tall glass with ice and add all the ingredients. Stir vigorously. Pour into a large margarita glass. Garnish with lime wedge. Salt optional.
Of course, you can use any great juice orange to make this drink…but the fact is that HoneyBells are really not that much more expensive. But the clock is ticking…get ‘em soon or you’ll need to wait a year!
Any other time of the year, substitute pineapple juice, orange juice or a combination of both for the Honey Bells.