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
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