The Buzz About Bee’s Knees: A Classic Prohibition-Era Cocktail with a Sweet and Tangy Twist

The Bee’s Knees is a classic cocktail that has been enjoyed by cocktail lovers for nearly a century. This gin-based drink is simple to make, yet it packs a powerful punch of flavour that will have you buzzing with delight. In this blog, we’ll explore the history of the Bee’s Knees, what makes it such a famous cocktail, and how to make one for yourself!

Forest Honey – Complex and fruity.

History of the Bee’s Knees

The Bee’s Knees cocktail has its roots in the Prohibition era of 1920s America when people had to get creative with their alcohol consumption. With the ban on alcohol in place, many people turned to homemade moonshine and bootlegged spirits to make their drinks. To mask the harsh taste of these illicit alcohols, people often added sweeteners and citrus juices to their drinks.

The Bee’s Knees cocktail is believed to have originated during this period to improve gin’s taste, which was one of the few legal alcohols available. The name “Bee’s Knees” was a popular slang term in the 1920s, meaning “the best,” so it’s no wonder that this sweet and tangy cocktail became a hit.

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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