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Classic Bees Knees Recipe to Sweeten Your Evening


Boozy Bees Knees Gin Cocktail with Lemon

Take a spin to the 1920s with the iconic and infamous bee’s knees. Then slowly meander your way back to the present, exploring all the riffs it’s inspired, resulting in each of these bee’s knees recipes that’ll leave you nodding your head. One sip is all it takes to know that any of these options, from spicy to lite, are absolutely the bee’s knees.

Bee’s Knees

Boozy Bees Knees Gin Cocktail

Jump headfirst into this classic cocktail, where the gin and honey flavors melt your clouds away.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ ounce honey syrup (see below)
  • Ice
  • Lemon wheel for garnish, optional

Honey Syrup

Honey syrup is essentially a honey simple syrup. It’s much easier to use in cocktails than honey as it dissolves and mixes in with the other ingredients far more seamlessly.

Ingredients

  • ¾ ounce cup honey
  • ¾ ounce water

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, add honey and water.
  2. Stir until the honey dissolves completely.
  3. Allow the syrup to cool before adding it to a resealable container.
  4. Store in a refrigerator for three to four weeks.

Yellow Jacket

Yellow Jacket

The yellow jacket offers a more herbaceous flavor than its parent cocktail; but more importantly, it defies expectations. This cocktail doesn’t sting as you’d think.

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces gin
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ ounce yellow chartreuse
  • ½ ounce honey syrup
  • Ice
  • Lemon ribbon for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, gin, lemon juice, yellow chartreuse, and honey syrup.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with lemon ribbon.

Bee Sting

Bee Sting

The bee sting is a riff that’ll leave you with a stinger. The chili liqueur packs a firm bite, but the sweet honey and citrus lemon keep it incredibly well balanced. If you want to push the envelope further, sideline the gin in favor of tequila or vodka.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce honey syrup
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ ounce chili liqueur
  • Ice
  • Lemon slice for garnish, optional

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add gin, honey syrup, lemon juice, and chili liqueur.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with lemon slice.

Rosemary Bee’s Knees

Rosemary Bee's Knees

This upgraded green bee recipe gives your bee’s knees a crisp rosemary boost. To make the rosemary honey syrup, follow the recipe above but add two to three sprigs of fresh rosemary while simmering.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce rosemary honey syrup
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Rosemary sprig and lemon wheel for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, gin, rosemary honey syrup, and lemon juice.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with rosemary sprig and lemon wheel.

Cherry Bee’s Knees

Cherry Bee's Knees

If you’ve ever been lucky to sit below a cherry tree as its blossoms slowly drift from the branches, you’ll know it feels like nothing short of a magical, warm springtime snowfall. Capture that moment in this cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces cherry-infused gin
  • ¾ ounce honey syrup
  • ¼ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Cherry for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, cherry-infused gin, honey syrup, and lemon juice.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with cherry.

Blackberry Bee’s Knees

Blackberry Bee's Knees

Enrich the flavors of the classic gin and lemon flavors with the deep, rich flavors of blackberry. If you don’t have fresh blackberries, a half-ounce of crème de mûre or crème de cassis works in a pinch.

Ingredients

  • 4-5 fresh blackberries
  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce honey syrup
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Blackberry for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, muddle blackberries with a splash of honey syrup.
  3. Add ice, gin, lemon juice, and remaining honey syrup.
  4. Shake to chill.
  5. Strain into chilled glass.
  6. Garnish with blackberry.

Lavender Bee’s Knees

Lavender Bee's Knees

Make everyone all abuzz about your floral riff of the bee’s knees. You’ll wonder why you haven’t tried it sooner. If you don’t want to wait for the time for lavender to infuse into gin, add two lavender sprigs or a tablespoon of dried lavender buds to the honey syrup recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces lavender-infused gin
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce honey syrup
  • Ice
  • Lavender sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, lavender gin, lemon juice, and honey syrup.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with lavender sprig.

Caribbean Bee’s Knees

Caribbean Bee's Knees

Pollinate tropical flowers and flavors with this island sun-inspired riff on the bee’s knees. You’ll omit the gin in favor of aged or dark rum and add some sharp notes with bitters.

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces dark rum
  • 1 ounce honey syrup
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1-3 dashes aromatic bitters
  • Ice
  • Lemon ribbon for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, dark rum, honey syrup, lemon juice, and aromatic bitters.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with lemon ribbon.

Honey Bee

Honey Bee

Lighten the flavors of the previous cocktail by using white rum. It’s so light, in fact, that it could just buzz away into the closest flower.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces white rum
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce honey syrup
  • Ice
  • Lemon ribbon and thyme sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, white rum, lemon juice, and honey syrup.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with lemon ribbon and thyme sprig.

Bee Rush

Bee Rush

If you’re at all familiar with the bourbon-based gold rush, this cocktail will feel like reuniting with a close friend. It’s the perfect result of combing it together with a bee’s knees.

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces gin
  • ½ ounce applejack
  • ¾ ounce honey syrup
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Lemon wheel for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, gin, applejack, honey syrup, and lemon juice.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with lemon wheel.

Killer Bee

Killer Bee

Dip your toes into the smokey world of mezcal. The cocktail has no spice, but that doesn’t mean you can’t throw in a red herring with a spicy garnish.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces mezcal
  • 1 ounce honey syrup
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Dehydrated lime wheel and chili pepper for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, mezcal, honey syrup, and lemon juice.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with dehydrated lime wheel and chili pepper.

Skinny Bee’s Knees

Skinny Bee's Knees

Whatever the reason or the season may be that you’re looking for a lighter cocktail, there’s no need to worry about missing out on a tasty cocktail. The skinny bee’s knees recipe answers the call. You can sweeten the cocktail by using homemade Splenda or Stevia simple syrup.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ ounce honey liqueur
  • Ice
  • Thyme sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, gin, lemon juice, and honey liqueur.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with thyme sprig.

Queen Bee

Queen Bee

Create the most regal of bee’s knees by using Empress gin as your base. If the purple hue doesn’t catch your attention, the first sip will have you loyally and royally hooked.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Empress gin
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ ounce honey syrup
  • Ice
  • Lavender sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, Empress gin, lemon juice, and honey syrup.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with lavender sprig.

Bee’s Knees Toddy

Bee's Knees Toddy

Warm your body and soul with a spin on not just one familiar cocktail but two with this warming hot toddy riff.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces gin
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce honey or honey syrup
  • Hot water to top off
  • Lemon wheel for garnish

Instructions

  1. Warm a mug by filling with hot water.
  2. After mug is warm to touch, pour out the water.
  3. In the mug, combine the gin, lemon juice, honey, and hot water.
  4. Stir to combine well.
  5. Garnish with lemon wheel.

Bee’s Knees 75

Bee's Knees 75

With just a splash of sparkling wine, your bee’s knees will be the talk of the party in this honeyed bubbly French 75.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce gin
  • ¾ ounce honey syrup
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Prosecco to top off
  • Lemon ribbon for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a Champagne flute or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, gin, honey syrup, and lemon juice.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Top off with prosecco.
  6. Garnish with lemon ribbon.

Bee’s Knees Recipes for You and Your Honey

It’s hard to believe that such a simple recipe can yield a world of flavors and variations that could please so many palettes, yet the bee’s knees cocktail does just that. From smokey to bubbly, there’s an innumerable amount of bee’s knees riffs to explore. Beyond the recipes above, you can even subtly change the flavor by using an infused gin in the classic cocktail, from floral gin, to citrus notes, all the way to soft, fruity notes; there’s no limit to how big you can dream.

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