Bee’s Knees Cocktail Recipe

The Bee’s Knees cocktail is a classic Prohibition-Era cocktail made with gin, lemon juice, and honey syrup.

Bee's Knees Cocktail

Ingredients in Bee’s Knees Cocktail

The Bee’s Knees cocktail is a Prohibition-Era drink made with gin, lemon juice, and honey syrup (honey and water). It’s a simple classic cocktail, sweetened with real honey and balanced with citrus. It’s really refreshing and perfect for gin lovers.

Other than being a Prohibition-Era drink, I can’t seem to find anything about it other than the meaning behind the drink’s name—a nod to the time in history it originated. Bee’s knees is a 1900’s slang term for ‘the best’ or ‘awesome’ and of course inspired by the honey syrup.

Honey Syrup for Bee's Knees Cocktail
Simple homemade honey syrup.

How to Make Honey Syrup

What is honey syrup? Honey syrup is essentially simple syrup made with equal parts honey and water. It’s easier to make than simple syrup as the honey will more easily dissolve in warm water, unlike sugar.

To make honey syrup, heat 1/4 cup of water in the microwave for 15-25 seconds until warm. Stir in 1/4 cup of honey until fully dissolved. The proper consistency is a little thicker than water when at room temp.

You can make extra syrup and store in the fridge for about a month. The honey syrup recipe above is good for about 1/2 a cup or 4 cocktails.

How to Make a Bee’s Knees Cocktail

Combine honey syrup, gin, and lemon juice in a shaker with a cup of ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Now, if you detest gin you can still make this cocktail with vodka. I’ve tried it and it’s obviously not the same cocktail but similar and very refreshing.

The Bee’s Knees is not a prominent gin cocktail to begin with—the honey and lemon will take over and diffuse the sting of gin, leaving you with a cool and refreshing sipper. See what I did there?

You’ll Also Love

Bee's Knees Cocktail
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Bee’s Knees Cocktail Recipe

  • Author: Shawn Williams
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Total Time: 5
  • Yield: 1 1x
  • Category: Cocktail
  • Cuisine: American


The Bee’s Knees cocktail is a classic Prohibition-Era cocktail made with gin, lemon juice, and honey syrup.


  • 2 ounces gin
  • 3/4 ounces fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 ounces honey syrup

honey syrup (makes 1/2 cup)

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. To make honey syrup, combine warm water and honey in a glass and stir until honey is fully dissolved. I usually heat water in a glass measuring cup in microwave for 20-30 seconds and stir in honey.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with a cup of ice. Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds and strain into a chilled coupe glass.


Don’t like gin? This can also be made with vodka.


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 219
  • Sugar: 17.9g
  • Sodium: 6mg
  • Fat: 0.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.2g
  • Carbohydrates: 18g
  • Fiber: 0.1g
  • Protein: 0.2g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: bee’s knees cocktail