honey water recipe

The Bee’s Knees A Delicious Honey Water Recipe

The Bee’s Knees is a Prohibition-era cocktail that has stood the test of time. This classic drink features a delightful combination of gin, lemon juice, and honey. The name itself, “Bee’s Knees,” was popular slang during the 1920s, used to describe something excellent or outstanding.

The Origins of the Bee’s Knees Cocktail

Credit for the creation of the Bee’s Knees goes to Frank Meier, an Austrian-born bartender who worked at the prestigious Hôtel Ritz Paris in the 1920s. Meier took the classic Gin Sour recipe, which typically consists of gin, lemon, and sugar, and replaced the sugar with honey. This simple substitution not only adds richness to the drink but may also have been a clever way to mask the taste of subpar gin that was common during Prohibition.

Why the Bee’s Knees Works

Luckily, the gin market today offers a wide range of exceptional bottles, so the days of subpar gin are mostly behind us. This means that you can truly appreciate the flavors of the Bee’s Knees cocktail with high-quality ingredients.

When making a Bee’s Knees, you have two gin options to consider. Using a London Dry gin will highlight the juniper flavors, while a more modern gin infused with citrus and florals will enhance the lemon and honey notes in the cocktail. Choose the gin that best suits your personal taste, as it plays a starring role in this drink.

The honey component of the Bee’s Knees comes in the form of homemade honey syrup, which is a simple mixture of honey and water. This syrup adds complexity and sweetness to the cocktail. It’s best to use a mild honey, such as clover or another delicate floral variety. Strong-flavored honeys can overpower the drink and distract from the overall balance of flavors. To complement the nuanced sweetness of the honey, fresh lemon juice is added to provide a refreshing burst of tart acidity.

Making the Bee’s Knees Cocktail

The beauty of the Bee’s Knees cocktail lies in its simplicity. With only three ingredients, it’s easy to whip up whenever you’re in the mood for a refreshing drink. Additionally, it’s a great option for parties or gatherings, as it can be easily scaled up to serve a crowd. With a bottle of gin, a batch of honey syrup, and plenty of lemons on hand, you can quickly shake up drinks for all your thirsty guests.

To make the Bee’s Knees cocktail, follow these simple steps:

  1. Prepare the honey syrup by combining equal parts honey and water in a saucepan. Heat the mixture over low heat, stirring until the honey dissolves completely. Allow the syrup to cool before using it in the cocktail.

  2. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine 2 ounces of your chosen gin, 3/4 ounce of freshly squeezed lemon juice, and 3/4 ounce of honey syrup.

  3. Shake the mixture vigorously for about 15 seconds to chill the ingredients and combine the flavors.

  4. Strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe or martini glass.

  5. Optionally, garnish the drink with a twist of lemon peel or a lemon wheel for an extra touch of elegance.

Now, sit back, relax, and enjoy the delightful combination of flavors in your homemade Bee’s Knees cocktail.


The Bee’s Knees cocktail is a timeless classic that showcases the perfect marriage of gin, lemon juice, and honey. Its origins in the Prohibition era give it a sense of history and intrigue, while its simple yet elegant recipe makes it a favorite among cocktail enthusiasts. Whether you’re hosting a party or simply want to indulge in a refreshing drink, the Bee’s Knees is an excellent choice. With its balanced flavors and easy preparation, it’s sure to impress your guests and leave you craving another sip. So, gather your ingredients, mix up a batch of honey syrup, and get ready to savor the bee’s knees of cocktails.

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