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How to Make a Bee’s Knees Cocktail

This Bee’s Knees cocktail recipe is a slam dunk! Crisp gin is softened by smooth honey, shaken to perfection. Read on to get the easy recipe and add this cocktail drink idea to your next party, shower, or dinner. Cheers!

how to make a bee's knees cocktail

My husband is quite the home mixologist, if I do say so myself. That kid can mix a cocktail with the best of ’em.

And the other day when we were figuring out how to make a Bee’s Knees cocktail, he hit on a super simple little trick that makes it incredibly easy to make them for yourself at home.

Psst – if you just can’t get enough, be sure to sign up for our exclusive group where I’ll send you more DIYs, recipes, cocktails, and inspiration! Enter your info below.

Making a Specialty Cocktail at Home

For a long time we would only order these drinks if we were out and they were a specialty cocktail wherever we were, because they require a honey syrup that not everybody has in stock all the time.

Then we started trying to make them at home, but if you use room temperature honey, you literally have to shake the cocktail for about five minutes to get that stuff to dissolve.

Luckily, we figured out an obvious and simple but brilliant solution. Read on to see how to make a Bee’s Knees cocktail in small batches at home!

Before you dive in, be sure to check out our other cocktail recipes here!

A quick History of The Bee’s Knees Cocktail

The Bee’s Knees is a delicious, refreshing cocktail right out of the Prohibition era. During that time, calling something “the bee’s knees” was one of the highest slang compliments around. (Kind of our version of “fire” or “amaaaazing!”)

It’s credited to a bartender at the Hotel Ritz Paris in the 1920’s. He apparently discovered that adding the honey to gin and lemon disguised the taste of any subpar gin.

Gin was commonly used for cocktails during the Prohibition because it could be easily made at home (often in bathtubs in large batches, hence the phrase “bathtub gin” referring to gin that’s not necessarily great). So lots of really incredible gin cocktails came out of the Prohibition era because people were mixing ingredients to mask that flavor.

Why is it called a Bee’s Knees?

It’s all about the honey, friend!

A Bee’s Knees cocktail is actually a basic, classic Gin Sour cocktail — with one substitute. The sugar in a Gin Sour is substituted with honey, which gives it a deeper, more richer flavor.

And one fun thing to do once you get the hang of making Bee’s Knees cocktails is to try new honeys and see how they change the drink.

A lavender-infused honey is particularly lovely, if you like drinks that are a bit flowery or earthy in flavor. Another fun one to try? Honey that’s been infused with a little something spicy! Look for honey that has a pepper infusion of some kind to give your Bee’s Knees cocktail a kick.

More Gin Cocktails You’re Going To Love

We’ve made it our mission to share of our favorite, delicious, drinkable gin cocktails recently and we’re hearing that you love them.

Gin sometimes gets a bad rap for being a powerful flavor. But it’s all in how you mix it! So once you’ve tried our Bee’s Knees, save these cocktail recipes as well to expand your gin repertoire.

What You’ll Need to Mix a Bee’s Knees

Gin. I love a citrus-forward gin for this cocktail, to complement the fresh lemon. But truly, any gin will do. Don’t be afraid to use what you have!

Lemon Juice. As always, I recommend fresh fruit juices for any cocktail. Using a freshly squeezed lemon will make your drink extra refreshing and yield a result that’s next level.

Honey. Any honey you have in your pantry will lend that delicious, flowery, earthy flavor to your Bee’s Knees. But feel free to experiment with flavored or infused honeys to put your own spin on things.

How to Make a Batch

If you’re making cocktails for a group and want to batch things, this is an easy one to adjust! While you certainly can make just one, the Bee’s Knees also lends itself well to making a batch for a group of people.

To make a batch, simply multiply the ingredients by however many individual servings you’ll be making.

How to Make a Bee’s Knees Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 2 oz gin
  • 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon water

Instructions

  1. Start by putting your honey and water in a small saucepan (we have a mini pan like this, which we also use for making single eggs!). Set it over a low heat until the honey dissolves completely, just a couple of minutes.
  2. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the gin and lemon juice. Once dissolved, add the honey syrup. Cap the cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Once shaken and completely chilled, use the strainer on the cocktail shaker to strain into a glass. (Use any glass you like, but I love a Bee’s Knees cocktail from a chilled coupe glass!)

That’s it! Our special little secret on how to make a Bee’s Knees cocktail! If you put the honey over some heat it comes together in just a minute or two, and eliminates having to store big batches of honey syrup or having to shake that baby for a million years.

Hope you try this one out at your next party — they’re particularly refreshing on a hot day. Cheers! xoxo

how to make a bee's knees cocktail
how to make a bee's knees cocktail
Yield: Bee's Knees Cocktail

Bee's Knees Cocktail

how to make a bees knees cocktail

This Bee's Knees cocktail is easy to make and easy to drink!

Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 oz gin
  • 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon water

Instructions

    1. It’s best to make this Bee’s Knees cocktail recipe in batches, so find some friends who want a cocktail and make a few at a time! Multiply the ingredients by however many individual servings you’ll be making.
    2. Start by putting your honey and water in a small saucepan. Set it over a low heat until the honey dissolves completely, just a couple of minutes.
    3. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the gin and lemon juice. Once dissolved, add the honey syrup. Cap the cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Once shaken and completely chilled, use the strainer on the cocktail shaker to strain into a glass. (Use any glass you like, but I love a Bee’s Knees cocktail from a chilled coupe glass!)

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