Bee’s Knees

A honey-gin sour. It's the cat's whiskers.

bees knees cocktail recipe

A twist on the Gin Sour, this shaken and strained mix of gin, honey, and lemon juice is thought to have bubbled up during Prohibition in the United States, when questionable bootlegged spirits needed masking in the flavor department. The cutesy name is an idiom that developed—along with other, less-appetizing phrases such as “the flea’s eyebrows,” and “the cat’s whiskers.” The recent fascination with old-timey things has adjusted the spotlight on this simple, refreshing drink once again.


Serving: 1

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice
  • 3/4 ounce honey syrup (2:1, honey: water, see Editor's Note)

Garnish: lemon peel or lemon wheel

  1. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add ice and shake until chilled.
  3. Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass.
  4. Garnish with a lemon peel or lemon wheel.
Editor's Note

To make honey syrup, combine 2 parts honey with 1 part hot water in a jar or bowl. Shake or stir to dissolve.

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  • François Monti

    It’s a great little cocktail that lends itself to many experimentation with different type of honeys. For what it’s worth, Frank Meier claimed it has one of his creations in the book he published while at the Ritz in Paris.

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