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Bee’s Knees Cocktail

June 13, 2020

The Bee’s Knees cocktail is a gin, lemon and honey classic that dates back to prohibition. The phrase “bee’s knees” was prohibition-era slang for “the best.” In that time, the addition of ingredients such as citrus and honey were often used to cover the less than ideal smell and taste of bathtub gin.

Adding spoonfuls of honey to such bitter alcohol certainly would have helped to mask the harshness, and when mixed with the lemon would create a more appetising and sweet concoction. Honey wasn’t much of a fixture in the cocktail world at the time, but it provides warm, floral undertones that aren’t present in sugar.

Improving the taste of an inferior gin may have been the goal, but the result was a fantastic concoction that can hold its own today. The Bee’s Knees, a sweet, citrus cocktail and will no doubt leave you buzzing too.


25ml Gin
1tbsp Honey
20ml Lemon Juice
10ml Orange Juice


  1. Add gin and honey to a shaker and stir until the honey dissolves.
  2. Add the lemon and orange juice and top up with ice. Shake well.
  3. Strain into a chilled glass. As an alternative, try pouring the cocktail on the rocks – it’s not quite the same but it’s perfect for the occasions where either you (or a guest) is wants a touch more dilution as the ice helps break up the sweetness and allows the cocktail to loosen up a little.


Nat x

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