Initially I was drawn to this cocktail for obvious reasons – because of its name… Bees Knees.
The Bees Knees cocktail originated in the days of Prohibition. The phrase “Bees Knees” was slang during this era for “the best” or “height of excellence”. Bathtub gin was usually a concoction of inferior alcohol and grain alcohol mixed together – nothing short of gasoline. As you can imagine this could pack quite a wallop. There are a couple of theories as to why someone thought to add honey syrup and fresh lemon juice to the alcohol. One theory is that it would mask the obvious bad taste and make for a smoother and tastier drink. Another theory is that the additions would mask the breath of anyone that drank it so there was no suspicion of drinking alcohol.
The buzz is that the flappers of the day created the cocktail name by proclaiming the tasty beverage to be the Bees Knees. By improving the taste of a very inferior alcohol, a fantastic cocktail was born that is still popular today. And lucky for us that it has been gaining in popularity in recent time.
Cocktail making supplies at the ready.
Local honey – nectar of the gods
Shake, shake, shake…
Here’s a tip for making the lemon twist:
The Bee’s Knees is a fun and very easy cocktail from the time of Prohibition. Make these for your next cocktail party. You and your friends can say things like “Gee, your swell” or “She’s got great gams” or “This cocktail is the Bees Knees”.
“Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water.”
~W. C. Fields