Bees knees – modern takes on the classic gin cocktail

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Bees knees – a prohibition era cocktail invented by Frank Meier, whom was the first head bartender at Ritz Paris. Bees knees, also slang for “the best” is a shaken cocktail, and is made with gin, lemon juice and honey. The IBA official recipe uses orange juice, but it’s not used in many of the modern Bees knees which are served today.

Bees knees IBA official recipe

  • 52.5ml Dry gin
  • 22.5ml lemon juice
  • 22.5ml orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey syrup

Bees knees is a cocktail that’s easy to enjoy, a crowd pleaser you can’t go wrong with, that will suit many occasions. It’s a bright and slighty floral cocktail, where you can use any type of gin, which suits you the best.

Some histories say the honey and lemon was to cover and hide the bad gins made “back in the days” but with all the good quality gins that are produced these days, it’s a whole other story.

If you haven’t tried a Bees knees it’s definitely a cocktail I can recommend, below I have provided some different takes on a Bees knees, which I hope you will give a try.

Cheers and enjoy !


Bees knees recipes

Bees knees - French bee

French bee

50 ml Gin
25 ml Gresh organic lemon juice
15 ml Honey syrup
10 ml Green chartreuse
Dash ginger bitters

Method: Shake with ice & fine strain into a chilled glass
Garnish: Lemon peel & ginger

Bees knees - Buzzing

Buzzing

50 ml Gin
25 ml Gresh organic lemon juice
15 ml Herb mead
7.5 ml Ginger liqueur
1 bsp Honey

Method: Add all ingredients to a shaker and stir to dissolve honey. Shake with ice & fine strain into a chilled glass
Garnish: Dehydrated lemon and a cocktail pick

Bees knees - Blueberry knees

Blueberry knees

50 ml Gin
25 ml Gresh organic lemon juice
15 ml Honey syrup homemade
Dash ginger bitters
Blueberries (I used fresh ones from the garden)

Method: Add blueberries to a shaker and muddle. Add all other ingredients. Shake with ice & fine strain into a chilled glass
Garnish: Dehydrated lemon and freeze dried blueberries

Bees knees - Royal danish navy

Royal danish navy

60 ml Royal danish navy gin
25 ml Fresh organic lemon juice
15 ml Honey syrup
Dash coriander & cardamom bitters

Method: Shake with ice & fine strain into a chilled glass
Garnish: Lemon peel & a cocktail pick

Bees knees - Bees & flowers

Bees & flowers

50 ml Gin
25 ml Fresh organic lemon juice
15 ml Elderflower mead
1 bsp Homemade elderflower cordial
1 bsp Honey
Dash ginger bitters

Method: Add all ingredients to a shaker and stir to dissolve honey. Shake with ice & fine strain into a chilled glass
Garnish: Lemon peel on a cocktail pick. Express lemon zest over the cocktail

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