Bee’s Knees Cocktail

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Bee's Knees Cocktail in a coupe glass

The Bee’s Knees cocktail is one of those classic gin-based drinks that exudes all the jazz and glamour of the 1920s. It’s something you’ll want to sip wearing a sequined chiffon dress, or a dapper suit topped with a jaunty fedora. Style in a glass, it’s the very essence of the word ‘languid’.  



Homemade honey syrup really puts this drink on top


Add a little elderflower liqueur for a stronger, more floral serve


This drink is a lovely thematic touch on Spring Day or International Bee Day



1 Person

60 Ml

2 Oz

2 Parts

30 Ml

1 Oz

1 Parts

lemon juice
15 Ml

0.5 Oz

0.5 Parts

honey syrup
To garnish, a lemon twist



Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake it vigorously until ice cold


Strain the cocktail into a coupe or martini glass


Twist the lemon peel over the cocktail to release its oils and then drop it in

How to make a Bee’s Knees Cocktail   

The great thing about this time-honoured recipe is that it contains only three ingredients, which means you can really focus on your technique. This simple flavour profile also allows each of the ingredients to come into their own, so you can appreciate how the gorgeous trifecta of smoothness, sweetness, and tartness comes together in the end. Such is the beauty of the best gin cocktails.   

What is the best gin to use?

Ostensibly first poured by a bartender called Frank Meier at the Hotel Ritz Paris around 1920, the honey was at first used to mask the taste of the questionable gin available at the time. These days, however, this ingredient only serves to highlight the beautiful herbaceous nature of the spirits we are lucky enough to have at our disposal.  

We favour a London Dry Gin that has undergone a quadruple distillation process, with maceration of the plants in the still, which makes its aromas finer. Bulldog Gin contains 12 botanicals that were sourced from 8 different countries. Among them are exclusive components such as dragon’s eye, poppy, and lotus which give it subtle spicy notes. Exceptionally round, smooth, and pure, the Bulldog is ideal for making classic mixed drinks like the Bee’s Knees cocktail.   

How to make honey syrup for Bee’s Knees

The thing that will really set your Bee’s Knees cocktail apart is if you take the time to make the honey syrup at home. The great news is that this is also super easy to do. Simply add equal parts honey and water to a pot on the stovetop and whisk until it becomes a syrup. That’s it! You can also do it in the microwave using a microwave-safe container.  

TIP: Honey syrup stays good to use for up to two weeks when stored in a covered container in the fridge.  

Recipe tricks & tips

If you think the Bee’s Knees is the cat’s pyjamas, there are a few other variations you can try at home:  

  • Split the serve in two, divide it into two Champagne flutes and charge the glasses with bubbly to turn it into a make-shift French 75 cocktail
  • Not too keen on gin? You can also make this zesty drink with SKYY vodka (try the citrus flavour, it’s delish!) 
  • If you prefer your summer gin cocktails a little less strong, strain the cocktail into a Collins glass and fill it to the top with soda water for a very summery serve
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The 1920s spurred a multitude of nonsense phrases that were popular all the rage. Some have stuck, others lost to time. the cat's pyjamas cat's whiskers cat's meow gnat's elbow monkey's eyebrows the bees knees...

This gorgeous expression's history is very hazy, of course, there are several theories. There is a school of thought that it references the pot of gold that the bees carry on their knees; the loaded (teeny tiny) pollen sacks.

Absolutely yes you can mix alcohol and honey. They are a heavenly match! Just think of whiskey and honey. What would a hot toddy be without the addition of honey? The viscosity of honey is thicker than a simple syrup and different to alcohol so it needs a good shake to mix properly.

Like all flavours we mix into our cocktails, honey's profile will add depth and richness and perhaps change the entire profile fo the cocktail if you choose a fragrant honey. If you are looking for sweetness and down want to adapt or interrupt any flavours, then add a basic runny honey like a clover. If you prefer something more floral, it may be a delicious layer to add to the botanicals of a gin cocktail. Likewise macadamia honey would add a gorgeous richness to a bourbon, apple or whiskey cocktail

Well, how long is a piece of string? Take a little stroll over to our article on syrup variations and get inspired by all the creative elements you can explore to add to a gin cocktail. Singular herbs like rosemary or basil can add raise the botanical bar. A cinnamon syrup makes a gorgeous spiced syrup which is oh so tasty with gin cocktails. Have some fun and let your creative talents loose.