The Bee’s Knees

This cocktail was popular one hundred years ago during the Jazz Age. The sweet-sour combination was ideal to mask the taste of the harsh “bathtub gin” brewed locally or at home in defiance of Prohibition laws. 


For the Honey Simple Syrup: 

  • ½ cup honey 
  • ½ cup water 

 For the cocktail: 

  • 1 lemon, washed well to make twist for garnish (optional) 
  • 2 ounces gin (or vodka) 
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
  • 1 tablespoon honey simple syrup (or to taste) 


1. Make the Honey Simple Syrup: Bring the honey and water to a boil in small saucepan over medium heat, then lower to a simmer. Simmer until the mixture is reduced by half to form a syrup. Set aside in a sealed container, preferably glass. 

2. Make the Lemon Twist: Take a potato peeler, sharp paring knife or small channel knife and peel a narrow strip of rind around the lemon crosswise. Place the strip on a flat surface, pith side up, and roll away from you in tight coils—as if rolling a rug. Uncoil and use in your cocktail as a garnish. 

3. Make the Cocktail: Add the gin or vodka, lemon juice, honey simple syrup to a shaker with ice and shake well. Pour into a champagne bowl or martini glass and serve with the lemon twist, if desired. Alternatively, you may mix the ingredients in one tall glass and pour over anther tall glass filled with ice. Pour into a martini glass or champagne bowl using a strainer. Serve with the lemon twist, if desired.