The Bee's Knees is a rejuvenating Prohibition-era cocktail, pleasant on spring and summer afternoons. It is a simple mixture of gin, lemon juice, and honey syrup, and the recipe is easy to make at home.
Frank Meier, an Austrian-born bartender, is the author of this cocktail at the Hotel Ritz Paris in the 1920s. Changing from sugar to honey creates a slightly richer variant of the gin sour. The replacement was made because honey is better to mask the unpleasant taste and aroma of the gin.
The honey comes in the way of homemade honey syrup, a simple combination of honey and water that adds complexity and sweetness. The lemon juice complements that sweetness with fresh and tart acidity and it brings the cocktail into balance.
A Bees Knees is a Prohibition Era cocktail made with gin, fresh lemon juice, and honey. It is served shaken and chilled, often with a lemon twist. The name comes from prohibition-era slang meaning "the best". The unique name is a convention of the time: The phrase "bee's knees" was popular slang used to call something excellent or outstanding.
With today's variety of gins, the bee's knees is a cocktail with many options.
Add the gin, lemon juice and honey syrup into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a lemon twist and serve.