Honey in cocktails? Yes, please. Invented during the Prohibition era, the Bees Knees is a simple gin sour with one notable difference – it’s sweetened with honey syrup.

As the legend goes, resourceful bootleggers of the 1920s made gallons of the now-famous, foul-tasting, (sometimes-deadly!) bathtub gin. The bottles were too tall to fit in kitchen sinks, so they were forced to move the operation to the bathtub. In order to conceal the taste of the industrial alcohol, a wave of sweeter-than-usual cocktails were invented, including the Last Word, the Mint Julep, the French 75 and the Bees Knees.

Read more about honey in Honey Honey.

The Bees Knees

The Bees Knees is a Prohibition-era cocktail enjoyed any time of the year. Mix together your favourite gin, lemon juice and honey syrup, and serve with a lemon peel twist.
Author Savour Calgary


  • 2 oz gin
  • 3/4 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz honey simple syrup

Honey Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup water


Honey Simple Syrup

  • In a small saucepan over medium heat add honey in water stirring until honey is dissolved. Let cool. Honey syrup will keep for up to 1 month in the refrigerator.


  • Shake ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into coupe or martini glass. Garnish with orange or lemon peel.