The Bees Knees…

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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.

All the makings for a great Bees Knees cocktail

Cocktail making supplies at the ready.

The Bees Knees…


  • 2 oz Gin
  • *1oz Honey Syrup
  • 1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Lemon Twist for Garnish
  • *To create Honey Syrup, combine 0.5 oz. water with 0.5 oz. honey.


Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.

Shake well.

Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Garnish with lemon twist

Local honey for Bees Knees cocktail

Local honey – nectar of the gods

Shake Shake Shake - Bees Knees Cocktail

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”.

Bees Knees Cocktail

“Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water.”

                            ~W. C. Fields



  1. Jill Tahmooressi says:

    yum, yum. Will serve at my next Bunco party. Fits so well into a summer themed party. Will store and use for sure. Thank you & cheers!

    1. 2 Bees in a Pod says:

      Yes… I can’t tell you how refreshing this cocktail is. The fresh ingredients are perfect for summer.

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