The Bee's Knees
Our friends Kathie and Allison emailed us a few months ago about a new cocktail they
discovered that they thought we might enjoy: The Bee’s Knees. We’ve finally had a chance to
try it, and the cocktail certainly lives up to its name.
The Bee’s Knees is a rediscovered cocktail from the Prohibition era that features gin, honey, and lemon juice. The drink was introduced to the cocktail scene during the 1920s by Frank Meier, an Austrian-born bartender who worked at the Ritz in Paris. The cocktail is a riff on the classic Gin Sour, expect that the Bee’s Knees uses honey syrup rather than sugar syrup. Honey and lemon may have originally been used to mask the taste of subpar gin, but the honey gives the drink a richer finish that is truly excellent.
The choice of gin will influence your drink’s flavor profile. A classic London Dry will emphasize the juniper notes of the gin, while a honey-based gin such as Bar Hill or Hatch will make the honey front and center. You can also replace the gin with a non-alcoholic spirit, such as Seedlip or Lyre’s Dry London Spirit.
In the mocktail version, we reduced the amount of lemon and increased the honey to strike a balance between tart and sweet. As always, experiment on your own to suit your own tastes.
The Bee’s Knees
2 oz gin ½ oz honey syrup ¾ oz fresh lemon juice 1 egg white (optional)
Mix all the ingredients and dry shake (without ice) until the egg whites are frothy. Add ice and shake again. Double strain into a coupe and garnish.
The egg whites will add a rich foam to your cocktail. If you omit the egg whites, there’s no need to dry shake.
The Bee’s Knees Mocktail
2 oz non-alcoholic spirit ½ oz fresh lemon juice ¾ oz honey syrup
Combine over ice and shake. Strain into a coupe and garnish.