When it comes to classic Gin cocktails, the Bee’s Knees can almost always be found on the list. The prohibition-era cocktail of three ingredients was created in 1921 by Frank Meier, an Australian-born head bartender at the Ritz Hotel in Paris. The clever name derives from a slang used at the time to mean excellent.
So what are the three ingredients? Gin, the star of the cocktail, lemon juice, gin’s citrus best friend, and Honey Syrup, the balance factor of the two.
It is believed that honey and sugar were used in prohibition-era cocktails to mask the taste of bathtub gins to make them more drinkable and enjoyable. However, the use of honey as a replacement to sugar creates a drink that is on the lighter side of sweet. Resulting in a cocktail where the gin flavor remains front and center.
When making the Bee’s Knees, is it crucial to start with the honey syrup as it needs time to cool down before being added to the drink. Multiple methods can be used, all of which involve mixing 1 Tablespoon of water with 1/2 a Tablespoon of honey until dissolved. We suggest trying them all and picking your favorite one.
Method 1 – Add both into a small container and heat in the microwave with 10 seconds intervals, mixing in between.
Method 2 – Add boiling water to the honey and mix.
Method 3 – Add both to a small pot and simmer until combined.
Honey syrup can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks. Multiply the measurements to create more syrup for multiple cocktails.
- 2 ounces gin
- 1/2 ounce honey syrup
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice
- Lemon twist garnish
Into a shaker add in the ice, gin, lemon juice, and honey syrup. Shake and pour into a chilled coupe glass or any glass of your preference, garnish, sip, and enjoy.