The Chemistry Behind Nick & Toni’s Most Buzz-Worthy Cocktail

What happens when a bee spends the whole day pollinating chamomile flowers? According to Kevin Grillo, bartender at Nick & Toni’s, you get the Lazy Bee cocktail, a favorite from the restaurant’s innovative menu of fresh takes on classic drinks.

“It’s a play on the classic cocktail the Bee’s Knees, which has been around for over a hundred years,” says Grillo. “I had a vision of a bee pollinating a chamomile field and being very lazy because of the seductive quality of chamomile. It’s a nice juxtaposition because usually bees are so busy.”

As with everything else at Nick & Toni’s, fresh and local are paramount to the drink menu. Seasonal flavors, like strawberries and mint in early summer or blueberries and raspberries later, inspire an ever-changing menu. In the Lazy Bee, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, local honey, tea from chamomile flowers, and Barr Hill gin combine in a harmonious balance.

Balance is the guiding principle when it comes to mixology, explains Grillo.

“A great cocktail has three elements,” he says. “Spirited, sour and sweet. In my opinion the pinnacle of a great cocktail is two parts spirit, one part sour and one part sweet. It’s chemistry.”

Nick & Toni’s Lazy Bee

  • 2 ounces Barr Hill Gin
  • 1 ounce chamomile-infused simple syrup (mix equal parts diluted honey to brewed chamomile tea)
  • 1 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake hard over ice. Serve up in a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a wheel of lemon and place chamomile flowers atop.