Bees Knees Recipe

Bees Knees
Photo for Mack Allen

The Bee’s Knees cocktail is a Prohibition-era classic made up of gin, honey and lemon. It is a delicious, spirit-forward cocktail that is a nice balance of sweet, tart, and strong.

The phrase “bee’s knees” was often used to call something “the best,” and was a popular saying during the Roaring Twenties, a decade of opulence, decadence, and despite Prohibition, craft cocktails.

Back then, ingredients like honey, citrus, and other sweeteners or fruits were often mixed with the era’s harsh spirits to “soften” them up, mask the bad flavors, and make the drinks more palatable. In the case of the Bee’s Knees cocktail, the strong flavor of the lemon with the sweetness of the honey helped turn the notorious bathtub gin of the time into a tasty and popular tipple.


2 oz Bols Genever gin
3/4 oz honey
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice

Preparation: How to make a Bees Knees

  1. Mix ingredients in a shaker filled with ice, and shake well for about 15 seconds.
  2. Strain into a chilled coupe glass, and serve.
Bees Knees