Bee’s Knees

This post contains affiliate links. See our disclosure policy here.

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 used by many flappers at the time.

Cocktail Ingredients

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

Gin: This is the base spirit. We went with Suntory Roku Gin because it offers the complexity of six Japanese botanicals.

Honey Syrup: This is a sweetener that adds honey flavor. We made ours using Alex’s simple recipe.

Lemon Juice: This adds sweet and sour citrus flavors for balance. We prefer to use fresh citrus juice because it’s less bitter than the bottled stuff and tastes much better.

Lemon Wheel: This the garnish. It adds more fresh citrus aroma and flavor.

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.

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.

AuthorThe Art of Vintage CocktailsPrep Time5 minsRating

Ingredients
 2 oz Gin
 ¾ oz Lemon Juice
 1 Lemon Wheel

Method
1

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

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Garnish with lemon wheel.

Bee’s Knees

Tools & Glassware We Recommend

More Gin Cocktails

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

 Spiced Pumpkin Punch: A gin cocktail made with apple cider, pumpkin purée, honey syrup, lemon juice, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon sticks

 Archangel: A gin cocktail made with Aperol, cucumber slices, and a lemon twist

 Apple Pie Gimlet: A gin cocktail made with apple cinnamon syrup, lemon juice, a cinnamon stick, and an apple slice

 White Negroni: A gin cocktail made with Lillet Blanc, Suze, and a lemon peel

Leave a comment