The Buzz About Bee’s Knees: A Classic Cocktail with Timeless Flavor

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Discover the history, ingredients, and variations of the Bee's Knees cocktail in this comprehensive article. Learn how to craft this classic libation, explore alternatives, and elevate your mixology game with a timeless favorite.

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The Bee’s Knees cocktail is a timeless concoction that has buzzed its way through the annals of cocktail history, leaving a trail of delighted taste buds in its wake. With its simple yet elegant blend of flavors, this Prohibition-era libation continues to captivate modern cocktail enthusiasts with its sweet, tangy, and refreshing profile.

History of Drink

Like many classic cocktails, the origins of the Bee’s Knees are a bit hazy, shrouded in the mystique of speakeasies and clandestine gatherings during the Prohibition era of the 1920s. Legend has it that the term “bee’s knees” was a popular slang phrase of the time, used to describe something excellent or outstanding. The cocktail itself is believed to have emerged as a clever disguise for the harsh taste of bathtub gin, which was prevalent during Prohibition.

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Truly Exceptional Gin


The Bee’s Knees cocktail is celebrated for its simplicity, requiring just a handful of ingredients:

Essential Bar- & Glassware

To craft the perfect Bee’s Knees, you’ll need the following barware and glassware:

How to Make It

  1. Prepare Your Ingredients: Measure out the gin, fresh lemon juice, and honey syrup.
  2. Combine Ingredients: Add the gin, lemon juice, and honey syrup to a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  3. Shake Well: Vigorously shake the ingredients for about 15-20 seconds to ensure proper chilling and dilution.
  4. Strain and Serve: Strain the mixture into a chilled coupe glass.
  5. Garnish (Optional): For an added touch of elegance, garnish with a twist of lemon or a fresh sprig of thyme.


While the classic Bee’s Knees recipe stands on its own, adventurous mixologists have found ways to put their own spin on this beloved cocktail. Here are a few variations to consider:


For those looking to explore similar cocktails with different flavor profiles, several alternatives offer equally delightful experiences:

  • Gin Sour: Substitute simple syrup for the honey syrup and omit the honey, resulting in a classic gin sour.
  • French 75: Combine gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup, topped with champagne for an effervescent treat.
  • Tom Collins: Mix gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and soda water for a tall, refreshing cocktail perfect for warm weather.

Last Call

In the world of cocktails, few drinks possess the timeless charm and understated elegance of the Bee’s Knees. From its humble Prohibition origins to its place as a staple in modern mixology, this classic libation continues to capture the imaginations of bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts alike. With its simple yet sophisticated blend of gin, lemon, and honey, the Bee’s Knees is a testament to the enduring appeal of a well-crafted cocktail. So, raise your glass and toast to the bee’s knees of the cocktail world!


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