In the roaring 1920s, amidst the clandestine ambiance of speakeasies and the jazz era, the Bee’s Knees emerged as a savior to many seeking a refined drink. The origin of this cocktail is enshrouded in the mystery of Prohibition’s underground bars. It’s a tale of resourcefulness in the face of adversity. Bartenders, in their quest to disguise the harsh realities of bathtub gin—a homemade spirit often overpowered by a medicinal taste—turned to the natural sweetness of honey and the zesty kick of lemon. This not only masked the gin’s imperfections but also gave birth to a cocktail that was the epitome of sophistication in a time of constraint. The phrase “bee’s knees,” slang for something outstanding, became synonymous with this concoction, reflecting both its quality and the era’s unique vernacular.
The Bee’s Knees
TOTAL TIME: 5 MINS
PREP TIME: 5 MINS
- 2 oz gin
- ¾ oz fresh lemon juice
- ½ oz honey syrup (equal parts honey and water)
- Combine gin, fresh lemon juice, and honey syrup in a shaker with ice.
- Shake well.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. We prefer a coupe, but you can certainly use a martini glass.
Alway and ONLY ever use fresh lemon juice. The stuff out of a bottle is a no-go!