Sipping Through Time: Rediscovering the Bee’s Knees – A Classic Prohibition-Era Cocktail with a Sweet and Tangy Twist

The Bee’s Knees is a classic cocktail that has delighted libation enthusiasts for nearly a century. Crafted with simplicity and adorned with a powerful punch of flavor, this gin-based concoction is sure to have you buzzing with delight. In this blog, we take a journey through the history of the Bee’s Knees, uncover what makes it a legendary cocktail, and provide you with the recipe to craft this timeless libation for yourself!

Forest Honey – Complex and fruity.


History of the Bee’s Knees

Rooted in the Prohibition era of 1920s America, the Bee’s Knees emerged as a creative solution to the challenges of enjoying beverages during the alcohol ban. Faced with homemade moonshine and bootlegged spirits, individuals sought ways to mask the harsh taste of these illicit alcohols. The Bee’s Knees, a gin-based cocktail, is believed to have originated during this period, aiming to enhance the taste of one of the few legal alcohols available. The name “Bee’s Knees,” a popular slang term of the 1920s meaning “the best,” perfectly encapsulates the allure of this sweet and tangy concoction.

Picture © Edinburgh Gin

What Makes the Bee’s Knees So Popular?

One of the reasons that the Bee’s Knees has endured as a classic cocktail is its simplicity. With only three ingredients – gin, honey, and lemon juice – it’s easy to make and easy to modify to suit your tastes. The honey adds a natural sweetness to the drink that complements the tartness of the lemon juice, while the gin provides a bold, botanical flavour that ties everything together.

Another reason that the Bee’s Knees is so popular is its versatility. The ratios of the ingredients can be adjusted to create a sweeter or more sour cocktail, depending on your preferences. Additionally, you can experiment with different types of honey and gin to create unique flavour combinations.

Buckwheat Honey 400g

How to Make a Bee’s Knees

Now that you know a bit about the history and popularity of the Bee’s Knees, it’s time to learn how to make one for yourself. Here’s a simple recipe to get you started:


  • 2 oz gin
  • 3/4 oz honey syrup (equal parts honey and hot water, stirred until combined)
  • 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice


  1. Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice.
  2. Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds.
  3. Strain the mixture into a chilled coupe glass.
  4. Garnish with a lemon twist or wedge, if desired.

Note: If you prefer a sweeter cocktail, you can increase the amount of honey syrup. Conversely, if you prefer a more tart cocktail, you can increase the amount of lemon juice.

Scottish Set 120g

The Bee’s Knees is a classic cocktail with a storied history and enduring popularity. With its simple ingredients and versatility, it’s a great choice for both novice and experienced cocktail drinkers. So why not try making one for yourself and see what all the buzz is about?


Our favourites for a Bee’s Knees…


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