Beverages, Recipes

Bee’s Knees Cocktail Recipe (+ How to Make It)

The Bee’s Knees cocktail is a charming libation that’s sure to impress.

Even the law couldn’t keep this Prohibition-era cocktail under wraps. Slightly sweet, very bright, and crisp, it’s irresistible!

Homemade Refreshing Bee's Knees Cocktail with Salt, Garnished with Lemon

The Bee’s Knees cocktail is a gin-forward drink. The twist of lemon and a sweet kiss of honey spruces it up just right. 


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It’s incredibly simple yet interestingly complex, especially since it’s a three-ingredient drink. 

So grab some gin and see what all the buzz is about. The Bee’s Knees will be the talk of your next party.

Bee’s Knees Cocktail Ingredients

Since this drink only has three ingredients, quality matters. Trust me, you will taste the difference. Here’s everything you need:

  • Gin – A London Dry gin will have a classic crisp taste and nice juniper notes. Bombay Sapphire and Beefeater are great options. Hendrick’s is another fine choice.
  • Lemon juice – Freshly squeezed lemon juice tastes the best. Bottled lemon juice isn’t as fresh and has a slightly off flavor.
  • Honey syrup – Warm honey and water create a quick honey syrup. It sweetens the drink and balances the flavor. 
  • Lemon twist – A classy garnish for a classy cocktail!
Glass of Refreshing Bee's Knees Cocktail With Lemon and Honey

How to Make a Bee’s Knees Cocktail

The Bee’s Knees is a very easy cocktail to make. Just start by making the homemade honey syrup, then mix the drink. 

Here are the steps:

  1. Make the honey syrup. Add the honey and water to a microwaveable container. Microwave it just until warm. Stir it until the honey dissolves completely.
  1. Shake. Add the gin, lemon juice, and honey syrup to a cocktail shaker full of ice. Shake it for about 30 seconds until chilled.
  1. Strain. Strain the contents into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish it with a lemon twist.
  1. Serve. Serve it and sip!

Why Bother Making Honey Syrup? 

Honey has a high viscosity and doesn’t mix well with cold liquids. It will simply clump up when you try to add it. 

Instead, warm it up with water to create a syrup. It will thin out the honey and help it mix more readily.

It’s easy to make, too. Just heat it in the microwave with equal parts water. 

The honey syrup will last like simple syrup. Store it covered in the refrigerator and use it within 2 weeks.

Top View of Refreshing Bee's Knees Cocktail in a Glass

Tips & Tricks 

When making the Bee’s Knees cocktail, follow these tips and tricks:

  • Try a lemon twist trick. Instead of just dropping the twist into the drink, hold it skin-side down above the cocktail and squeeze. This will release aromatic oils and elevate the drink’s aroma and flavor.
  • Sweeten to your heart’s content. Tweak the honey syrup-to-lemon juice ratio to find a balance that suits your palate.
  • Give the honey a warm-up. Just a quick session in the microwave will do. Warming it helps the syrup dissolve more easily.
  • Match the lemon ratio to the gin. The flavor profile of gin will vary by brand. So, adjust the lemon juice to taste. A dry, juniper-forward gin can use a little less lemon. Mellower gin can use a little more. Find the balance you like.  
Bright and Slightly Sweet Bee's Knees Cocktail with Lemon Garnish

Recipe Variations 

The Bee’s Knees is a very flexible drink. It only has three ingredients, so it’s a great starting point for other libations.

Here are some recipe variations to try:


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  • Gin Hot Toddy. Mix gin, honey, hot water, and lemon juice in a mug. 
  • Gin Sour. Swap out the honey syrup for simple syrup. You can also add an egg white for a frothy mouthfeel.
  • French 75. Half the recipe, then top it with Champagne. For a traditional French 75, replace the honey syrup with simple syrup.
  • Tom Collins. Strain the cocktail into a tall glass and top it with club soda.
  • Vodka Bee’s Knees. Simply replace the gin with vodka. The flavor is more neutral, so it’s great for anyone who’s not big on gin.
Bee’s Knees Cocktail