Bee's Knees co*cktail Recipe - The Fuzziest Coupe - Foodiosity (2024)

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The Bee’s Knees sounds just as fun as it actually tastes. The name is an old expression meaning great or excellent, in the same vein as ‘cat’s pajamas’ meant someone who is admirable and great at what they’re doing. So let’s take a look at the old style Bee’s Knees and see if it really is the bee’s knees.

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Bee's Knees co*cktail Recipe - The Fuzziest Coupe - Foodiosity (1)

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What is the Bee’s Knee’s?

Bee’s Knees is a variation on the gin sour, employing gin, lemon juice, and adding a bit of honey syrup to sweeten the whole affair just a smidge. The actual origin of the co*cktail is debatable, but most accounts point to the 1920’s era, and the most prominent story claims a Titanic survivor, Mrs. Margaret Brown invented the Bee’s Knees while vacationing in Paris. Another version claims Frank Meier invented the Bee’s Knees at the Ritz in Paris.

While neither version agrees on who first made it, both agree the drink came about in the 1920s, and in Paris, France. The lemon juice was a common addition to gin sours, and the honey syrup was either an original twist on the classic or a way to mask lower quality gin. In the early 20th century sweet co*cktails weren’t a thing, since the flavor of neat alcohol was showcased instead of mellowed. As the Prohibition era went on, poor quality alcohol had to be masked with various ingredients, often syrups.

Regardless of the actual origin, today Bee’s Knees just sounds awesome and makes you think of a fuzzy bee and its many knees. And it actually tastes like I’d imagine a bee’s pollen-laden legs would taste !

Bee's Knees co*cktail Recipe - The Fuzziest Coupe - Foodiosity (2)

Bee's Knees co*cktail Recipe

Ioana Ciuraru

A wonderfully fresh and delicious gin sour that's going to remind you of a sunny spring morning.

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Prep Time 5 minutes mins

Total Time 5 minutes mins

Servings 1


  • 2 oz gin
  • 0.75 lemon juice
  • 0.5 honey syrup
  • lemon twist to garnish


  • In a shaker add gin, lemon juice, honey syrup, ice. Shake very well.

  • Strain into chilled coupe or very small Martini glass.

  • Garnish with lemon twist.


  • The honey syrup is extremely easy, 2:1 honey to water ratio. Combine in jigger, stir until diluted.
  • You can also express a little lemon peel if you like, but the lemon flavor is noticeable enough with the juice.

When is this drink best ?

The Bee’s Knees is great as a co*cktail hour drink, dinner drink, but maybe not a clubbing drink. I think it’s on the sophisticated side and definitely not something you can easily drink without stopping to appreciate every sip. And due to its lovely shade of light yellow, I think it works absolutely amazing in a daytime setting where you can admire the color in your coupe.

My thoughts on Bee’s Knees

I loved it ! For someone who doesn’t usually like gin, this is a big improvement in a gin sour and I think the honey is 100% responsible for it. It’s not a sweet co*cktail, not like a Pina Colada or Long Island Iced Tea. But it’s just sweet enough to mitigate some of the sourness in the lemon juice and the flavor of honey just pairs so beautifully with the gin ! And the lemon juice, but mostly with the gin. I used London Dry so it has a very juniper-forward flavor, and again I think that works great with honey and lemon.

In my opinion this is a great option if you want something gin-based but don’t want to go the Martini route. Still dainty, can still be served in a small Martini glass, and it even looks better.

Bee's Knees co*cktail Recipe - The Fuzziest Coupe - Foodiosity (3)

If you like Bee’s Knees, you might also like…

Gin sour – sweet and tart mix of gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white

Cosmopolitan – vodka-based but still sour and just the smallest hint of sweetness

Honeysuckle – a white rum Bee’s Knees

Tequila Honey Bee – a tequila and honey mix

Notes, substitutes, and tips

The honey syrup is extremely easy to make but just as easy to mess up an get it clumpy. To avoid any clumps, mix your honey and water (2:1 ratio) in a jigger or in a small glass. Doesn’t have to be warm water, with enough patience you can dilute the honey with cold water and a teaspoon. Stir it until it gets cloudy.

If you add straight honey to the shaker and then ice the honey will clump and freeze onto the ice. Don’t do that, if you make the syrup in the shaker add your water and lemon juice and stir very, very well before you add the gin and ice.

Shake all ingredients and strain to avoid the foam. This forms quite a bit of foam, and normally you wouldn’t serve that. But you do you, if you want to top with the foam it could look quite nice.

Make sure the gin you use is one you love, since you’ll be tasting a lot of it. If going for flavored gin then citrus, raspberry, and rosemary would work great here.

Bee's Knees co*cktail Recipe - The Fuzziest Coupe - Foodiosity (4)

Ioana Ciuraru

I’m the main writer of and I like to write about food curiosities. I have a lot of questions myself and I love finding out the answer. You can find me on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest.

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Bee's Knees co*cktail Recipe - The Fuzziest Coupe - Foodiosity (2024)


What is a bees knees drink made of? ›

A Bee's Knees co*cktail is made with only three ingredients: gin, honey, and lemon. Simple, sweet, and super delicious!

What is the history of the bees knees drink? ›

The bee's knees co*cktail has unclear origins. It was possibly invented by Frank Meier, an Austrian-born, part Jewish bartender who was the first head bartender at the Ritz in Paris in 1921, when its Cafe Parisian opened its doors. A 1929 news article attributes the co*cktail to Margaret Brown, an American socialite.

How do you add honey to gin? ›

  1. Add the gin, lemon juice and honey syrup into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
  2. Strain into a chilled co*cktail glass.
  3. Garnish with a lemon twist.

How long does honey syrup last? ›

Add the honey and water into a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the honey is dissolved. Allow to cool and transfer to an airtight container. Syrup will keep, refrigerated, for up to 1 month.

What's so special about bees knees? ›

Bees have lots of other specialised structures on their legs to carry pollen, but the bee's knee itself is no more remarkable than any of the other leg joints. So with that in mind, what's the origin of the phrase: "the bee's knees"? Probably simply because "knees" rhymes with "bees".

What is the bees knees slang for? ›

Noun. the bee's knees pl (plural only) (idiomatic, colloquial) Something or someone excellent, surpassingly wonderful, or cool.

What is another name for the bees knees co*cktail? ›

The bees' knees is also the name of a classic co*cktail with other names like the Bumble Bee. It's easy to make - and it's my first choice for a co*cktail to welcome spring. Think of a Tom Collins but with organic honey as a natural sweetener instead of sugar.

What glass is bees knees served in? ›

Directions. Add gin, lemon juice, and honey syrup to a co*cktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until chilled, about 15 seconds. Strain into a chilled coupe glass.

What is the drink of the Chicago Bears? ›

Chicago Bears: New York Sour

Picking a co*cktail with “New York” in its name for Chicago actually makes sense. It's generally agreed upon that the New York Sour initially popped up in Chicago in the 1880s, albeit under a different moniker. Its specs made it to New York, and someone changed the name along the way.

What can I mix with gin to make it taste good? ›

7 Best Gin Mixers for a Flavorful Twist
  • Tonic Water: The Classic Gin Mixer. ...
  • Ginger Ale: A Spicy Twist. ...
  • Elderflower Tonic: A Floral Infusion. ...
  • Grapefruit Juice: A Citrusy Delight. ...
  • Cucumber and Mint Mixer: A Refreshing Combination. ...
  • Hibiscus Syrup: A Unique and Exotic Flavor. ...
  • Vermouth: A Gin Martini.

What are the 3 key ingredients in gin? ›

The primary three ingredients used in the majority of gins are juniper, coriander and angelica. Even though these are the most popular, there are hundreds of flowers, roots, fruits, berries and nuts that are used to create a palate for each gin that makes it distinctive.

What does honey do to alcohol? ›

Honey is an excellent source of instant energy and is gentle on the stomach, as it contains a mix of natural sugars (such as glucose and fructose) which is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream. Fructose is also known to speed up the oxidation of alcohol by the liver, acting as a 'sobering' agent.

Is 4 year old honey still good? ›

Honey can stay edible for years, even decades, but honey is a natural product, which means it will change over time. For honey, those changes may include darkening color, thicker consistency, and different taste. Changes in honey are actually good signs (so long as they're not signs of fermentation).

What is the best honey for co*cktails? ›

Honeys that come from herbal sources, such as sage honey and thyme honey, offer savory notes that could play well with tequila or gin, two spirits with flavors that reward savory experimentation. Chestnut honey's flavors of wood and smoke are nice in a hot toddy made with a great blended Scotch or Irish whiskey.

Is 2 year old syrup still good? ›

Maple Syrup unopened will keep for a long time. Glass keeps the best; we have a bottle over 50 years old on our shelf that is still good. Plastic we normally recommend not keeping for more than 18 months to 2 years and tin should be stored no longer than 6 months.

What is the sweet liquid made by bees? ›

Honey is a sweet liquid made by bees.

What is royal jelly made of bees? ›

Royal jelly is often referred to as a honey bee's version of “a mother's milk” and is a protein-rich secretion produced by worker bees. This milky substance is fed to all larvae for a short period of time during the honey bee life cycle, and is also fed to the developing queen bee in extra amounts.

What is a bee's honeycomb made out of? ›

A honeycomb is a mass of hexagonal prismatic cells built from beeswax by honey bees in their nests to contain their brood (eggs, larvae, and pupae) and stores of honey and pollen.

What kind of drink is Nehi? ›

Nehi (/ˈniːhaɪ/ NEE-hy) is a flavored soft drink that originated in the United States.

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