Bee's Knees

Difford's Guide
User Rating



Coupe glass
Measuring jigger
Bar spoon
Fine sieve

Flavour Profile



There are approximately 167 calories in one serving of Bee's Knees.

Styles & Flavours

Bee's Knees image

Serve in a

Coupe glass


Orange zest twist

How to make:

In base of shaker STIR honey with lemon and orange juices until honey dissolves. Add gin, SHAKE with ice and fine strain into chilled glass.

If making with honey syrup, SHAKE and fine strain:
60 ml Dry gin
22.5 ml Lemon juice
15 ml Honey syrup
10 ml Orange juice

34 fl oz Freshly squeezed lemon juice
13 fl oz Freshly squeezed orange juice
4 spoon Raw runny honey (preferably orange blossom)
2 fl oz Rutte Dry Gin

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Our Comment:

The combination of honey and lemon suggests flu relief but don't wait for an ailment before trying this soothing concoction.

The beneficial addition of a splash of orange juice to a Bee's Knees (classically just gin, lemon and honey) comes from David Embury's 1948 book The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks where he says, "The addition of a small amount of orange juice makes for an interesting variation".


With light white rum in place of gin, this drink becomes a Honeysuckle, and with Jamaican rum, it becomes a Honey Bee.


For years the Bee's Knees was thought to have emerged during the Prohibition era when it was said the lemon juice and honey in this cocktail masked the poor quality of gin. However, thanks to an article in the 22nd April 1929 edition of the Standard Union from Brooklyn, New York, reporting on the then-latest trend in Paris, France for women's-only bars, this cocktail's true origins would appear to lie with an American millionairess partying in Paris.

Cocktail historian Jared Brown uncovered the article, the penultimate paragraph of which says, "The Bee's Knees is an invention of Mrs JJ Brown of Denver and Paris, widow of the famous miner, and is a rather sweet combination including honey and lemon."

Mrs Margaret Brown (born Margaret Tobin in 1867 and married to James Joseph Brown in 1866) was an American socialite and philanthropist who, since her death in 1932, has become better known as "The Unsinkable Molly Brown". Her colourful life, including surviving the Titanic disaster (hence her nickname), was re-enacted in the 1960 Broadway musical and subsequent 1964 film.

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