Bees Knees Cocktail Yum (1)
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  • Food: Bee’s Knees Cocktail
  • Wrier: Nicolas Wilson
  • Content-Type: Food Blog

Make a Cocktail when life hands you lemons. What do you think? My buddies and I have been sharing each other videos showing how to make our favorite happy hour cocktails.

I’ll never be a gin and tonic girl, but as the weather warms up, I’ve been loving gin-based drinks. Gin goes well with citrus and fresh herbs, so it seems appropriate for the season.

A traditional Prohibition-era cocktail, the Bee’s Knees is created with gin, lemon, and honey. The term comes from the fact that it’s vividly flavorful, gently sweet, and all-around enjoyable to drink.

On a wonderful spring day, make one at home. If you have a patio or balcony, it tastes even better. Cheers!

What’s the point of making honey simple syrup?

Bees Knees Cocktail (1)
Food: Bees Knees Cocktail (Source: Cookie and Kate)

Honey does not dissolve well in cold beverages. It has a tendency to clump and cause issues. To counteract this, we prepare a honey simple syrup by mixing honey and water in equal proportions. The syrup is simple to include in chilled cocktails.

Simply reheat the two together in the microwave or on the stovetop until you can easily whisk them together to make honey simple syrup.

That concludes our discussion. Honey syrup that has been left over can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, covered.

Considerations on Gin

This drink can be made with any dry gin, such as Beefeater’s. Try Hendrick’s for a more mellow, less juniper-y drink with cucumber and rose flavors.

I used Rieger’s Dry Gin, a Kansas City-based distillery. Because the Rieger distillery is now producing a large quantity of hand sanitizer, I’m promoting their lovely product as my own personal thank you.

Variations on Bee’s Knees

  • A French 75 is made by dividing one drink between two Champagne glasses and filling the rest with bubbly.
  • Pour the ingredients over ice and top it off with club soda for a more casual, lengthy sipper (essentially a Tom Collins).
  • Replace the honey syrup with St. Germain, an elderflower liqueur, for a pleasant floral drink.
  • To make the drink sweeter, add extra honey syrup to taste.
  • If you don’t care for gin, this cocktail could also be made with vodka.

Bee’s Knees Cocktail

Time to prepare: 5 minutes

5 minutes in total

Yield: 1 cocktail

A classic drink prepared with gin, lemon, and honey, the bee’s knees! This recipe is robust, energizing, and delectable. In a regular cocktail shaker, you can double the components and produce up to three cocktails at the same time.


  • ½ ounce honey syrup (see step 1)
  • 1-ounce lemon juice (about ½ medium lemon)
  • 2 ounces gin
  • Lemon twist, for garnish

Instructions for Cocktail

Bees Knees Cocktail Easy (1)
Food: Bees Knees Cocktail (Source: Cookie and Kate)
  1. To prepare the honey syrup: In a microwave-safe bowl or small saucepan, combine equal parts honey and water (say, 2 tablespoons each if you’re only making a few cocktails). Warm in the microwave or on the stovetop until the honey is entirely dissolved in the water. Remove from the equation.
  2. Use a vegetable peeler or a channel knife to scrape off a strip(s) of zest for your twist before juicing your lemons.
  3. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice to make the cocktail. Combine the honey syrup, lemon juice, and gin in a mixing glass. Close the lid tightly and shake for about 30 seconds, or until the mixture is very cold.
  4. Pour the drink into a coupe or martini glass and strain it. To release some of the oils from the lemon peel, twist it over the cocktail and drop it in. Enjoy while it’s still cold.


MEASUREMENT SUGGESTIONS: For measuring cocktails, I like to use this measuring jigger (affiliate link). However, ordinary measuring cups and spoons can be used. Two ounces equals a quarter cup, one ounce equals two tablespoons, and one ounce equals one tablespoon.