Bee’s Knees Recipe

The Bee’s Knees cocktail is a beloved classic from the Prohibition era. This simple yet delicious drink combines gin, lemon juice, and honey for a refreshing taste.

The phrase “the bee’s knees” originated as slang for something excellent in the 1920s. It describes this cocktail perfectly with its quality and taste.

Here’s the detailed recipe to enjoy the mix of tart lemon and sweet honey in every sip.


To make a Bee’s Knees, you’ll need a few essential tools. These common bar tools help ensure your cocktail is well-mixed and properly served:

  • Shaker: A cocktail shaker for combining and chilling the ingredients.
  • Jigger: For measuring precise amounts of each ingredient.
  • Strainer: To strain the mixture into your glass.
  • Citrus Juicer: For extracting fresh lemon juice.
  • Coupe Glass: Often used to serve the Bee’s Knees, giving it a classic presentation.


The Bee’s Knees requires a handful of simple yet quality ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • 2 oz gin: Preferably a dry gin to complement the sweetness of honey.
  • 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice: Always use freshly squeezed for the best flavor.
  • 3/4 oz honey syrup: Made by mixing equal parts honey and warm water until fully dissolved.


Creating a Bee’s Knees involves a few straightforward steps:

  1. Combine Ingredients: Pour the gin, lemon juice, and honey syrup into your cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake: Add ice and shake vigorously for about 15 seconds to chill and mix the ingredients.
  3. Strain: Use a strainer to pour the mixture into a chilled coupe glass.
  4. Garnish: Optionally, garnish with a lemon twist for an added touch of elegance.

Tasting Notes

The Bee’s Knees offers a perfect blend of sweet, sour, and botanical flavors.

The gin provides a robust base with juniper and herbal notes. The honey syrup adds a smooth sweetness without overpowering, while the lemon juice gives a fresh, zesty brightness. Together, these elements create a harmonious and refreshing cocktail.

Similar Cocktails

If you enjoy the Bee’s Knees, there are other cocktails with a similar flavor profile. Some options to try include:

  • Tom Collins: A mix of gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and soda water.
  • French 75: Combines gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and Champagne for a bubbly twist.
  • Gold Rush: Featuring bourbon, lemon juice, and honey syrup, it’s a whiskey-based sibling to the Bee’s Knees.


The Bee’s Knees traces back to the Prohibition era. It was created to mask the unfavorable taste of bathtub gin. The cocktail’s name reflects the slang of the time, meaning “the best.” Over time, it became a beloved classic, appreciated for its simplicity and balanced flavors.

Quick Pro Tips

Here are some tips to make your Bee’s Knees perfect:

  • Use Quality Gin: A good gin with botanical complexity enhances the drink.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice: Always use fresh, not bottled, lemon juice.
  • Honey Syrup Ratio: Ensure your honey syrup is mixed well for consistent sweetness.
  • Chill Your Glass: A chilled coupe glass keeps the cocktail at the right temperature longer.

When to Serve

The Bee’s Knees is ideal for many occasions:

  • Afternoon Gatherings: It’s refreshing on a warm day.
  • Cocktail Parties: A hit among gin lovers.
  • Brunch: Perfectly light and flavorful for daytime sipping.
  • Special Occasions: A classic choice for celebratory toasts.

Serve it whenever you need a sophisticated, refreshing drink.

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