When life gives you lemons… make a cocktail. How about that? My friends and I have been sending each other instructional videos on how to make our favorite cocktails for happy hour.
I’ll never be a gin and tonic girl, but I’ve been enjoying gin-based drinks as the weather warms up. Gin plays nicely with citrus and fresh herbs, so it seems just right for this time of year.
The Bee’s Knees is a classic Prohibition-era cocktail made with gin, lemon and honey. It’s brightly flavored, lightly sweet, and just an overall delightful drink—hence the name.
Enjoy one at home on a nice spring day. It tastes even better on a patio or balcony, if you have one. Cheers!
Watch How to Make the Bee’s Knees Cocktail
Why make honey simple syrup?
Honey doesn’t mix into cold liquids well. It tends to clump and cause problems. To remedy that, we make honey simple syrup from equal parts honey and water. The syrup mixes easily into cold cocktails.
To make honey simple syrup, simply warm the two together in the microwave or on the stovetop until you can easily whisk them together. That’s it! Leftover honey syrup will keep well in the refrigerator, covered, for up to two weeks.
You can use classic dry gin for this cocktail (such as Beefeater’s). For a more mellow, less juniper-y drink, try Hendrick’s, which has notes of cucumber and rose.
I used Rieger’s Dry Gin, which is distilled here in Kansas City. The Rieger distillery is manufacturing tons of hand sanitizer right now, so I’m featuring their beautiful product as my own little thank you.
Bee’s Knees Variations
- If you divide one drink between two Champagne glasses and fill the rest with bubbly, you’ll find yourself with a French 75.
- If you want more of a casual, long sipper, pour the ingredients over ice and top it off with club soda (essentially a Tom Collins).
- For a fun floral drink, replace the honey syrup with St. Germain, an elderflower liqueur.
- For a sweeter drink, simply stir in more honey syrup, to taste.
- If you don’t like gin, this cocktail would work with vodka, too.
Please let me know how your cocktail turns out in the comments! Looking for more fun cocktails? Try one of these:
Bee’s Knees Cocktail
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 1 cocktail 1x
- Category: Cocktail
- Method: Shaken
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegetarian
The bee’s knees is a classic cocktail made with gin, lemon and honey! This recipe is strong, refreshing and delicious. Recipe yields 1 cocktail; you can multiply the ingredients and make up to 3 cocktails at once in a standard cocktail shaker.
- ½ ounce honey syrup (see step 1)
- 1 ounce lemon juice (about ½ medium lemon)
- 2 ounces gin
- Lemon twist, for garnish
- To make the honey syrup: Combine equal parts honey and water (say, 2 tablespoons each if you’re only making a few cocktails) in a microwave-safe bowl or small saucepan. Warm in the microwave or over the stovetop just until you can completely stir the honey into the water. Set aside.
- Before juicing your lemons, use a vegetable peeler or channel knife to peel off a strip(s) of zest for your twist.
- To make the cocktail, fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in the honey syrup, lemon juice and gin. Securely fasten the lid and shake until the mixture is very cold, about 30 seconds.
- Strain the drink into a coupe or martini glass. Twist the lemon peel over the cocktail to release some of its oils, then drop it in. Enjoy while cold.
Measurement tips: I love to use this measuring jigger (affiliate link) for measuring cocktails. You can use standard measuring cups and spoons, though. Two ounces is ¼ cup, 1 ounce is 2 tablespoons, and ½ ounce is 1 tablespoon.