Bee’s Knees

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Cocktail History

The Bee’s Knees is a classic cocktail that was created by Frank Meier in the early 1920s when he became the first head bartender at the Ritz Hotel in Paris, France. It is traditionally made with gin, honey, and citrus, and it is believed that the drink was named after “the bee’s knees” phrase that was used by many flappers at the time.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Gin: This is a spirit made with juniper berries, botanicals, and alcohol. We used Suntory Roku Japanese Gin because its exceptionally complex thanks to its six Japanese botanicals. For a mocktail version of this drink, try MONDAY Zero Alcohol Gin in place of the gin.

Honey Syrup: This is a sweetener made with honey and water. We made ours at home using Alex’s simple recipe.

Lemon Juice: This is the liquid juice of a lemon. We used freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Lemon Wheel: This is a lemon slice that has been cut into a circular shape.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Boston Shaker: This is used to shake ingredients. We used the Boston shaker from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Hawthorne Strainer: This is used to strain out ice and solid ingredients after the cocktail is shaken. We used the A Bar Above Hawthorne Strainer.

Paring Knife: This is used to cut ingredients. We used the OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Paring Knife.

Juicer: This is used to juice citrus. We used the ALEEHAI Manual Fruit Juicer.

Tasting Notes

The Bee’s Knees features aromas of lemon and has a light and airy flavor that combines the richness and sweetness of honey with the tartness of lemon for balance, all with the slight spiciness of gin that lingers in the throat on the swallow.

Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

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Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“If you asked me for my top five favorite sour cocktails, this would be one of them. Mixing the sweet honey with gin’s botanicals is a match made in heaven, and the classic lemon juice balances it out perfectly without adding too much extra flavor. As far as extremely simple cocktails go, this one never fails to impress and please company when they come to visit.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“I can see why this recipe has stood the test of time. While not my all-time favorite gin cocktail, the Bee’s Knees is incredibly tasty and quite palatable. We used Broker’s Gin, the juniper notes of which are usually distinct, but the sweeter ingredients mask even this gin’s flavor very well. I would say this is a great gateway cocktail if you don’t usually go for gin as a base; you might change your mind after a couple of these.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from The Art of Vintage Cocktails by Stephanie Rosenbaum.

Sale
The Art of Vintage Cocktails
The Art of Vintage Cocktails
Hardcover Book; Rosenbaum, Stephanie (Author); English (Publication Language); 108 Pages – 01/07/2014 (Publication Date) – Egg & Dart (Publisher)
$9.97

AuthorThe Art of Vintage Cocktails

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 2 oz Gin
 ¾ oz Lemon Juice
 1 Lemon Wheel

Method
1

Add gin, lemon juice, honey syrup, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Garnish with lemon wheel.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 oz Gin
 ¾ oz Lemon Juice
 1 Lemon Wheel

Directions

Method
1

Add gin, lemon juice, honey syrup, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Garnish with lemon wheel.

Bee’s Knees

Make It a Mocktail: Use MONDAY Zero Alcohol Gin in place of the gin to try a booze-free version of this drink.

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More Honey Cocktails

If you like this honey-flavored cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Airmail Cocktail Recipe

Airmail: A gold rum cocktail made with lime juice, honey syrup, sparkling wine, and a lime peel

Tequila Honeysuckle Cocktail Recipe

Tequila Honeysuckle: A tequila cocktail made with honey syrup, lime juice, and a lime slice

Brown Derby Cocktail Recipe

Brown Derby: A bourbon cocktail made with grapefruit juice, honey, and a grapefruit twist

Chartreuse Toddy Cocktail Recipe

Chartreuse Toddy: A brandy cocktail made with water, Green Chartreuse, lemon juice, honey syrup, and star anise

This post contains affiliate links, meaning we make a small commission each time you purchase a product using our links. Product images sourced from Amazon Product Advertising API. Amazon affiliate links last updated on 2024-04-23.

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