Like all great cocktails, the Bees Knees is a drink that is steeped in history. Its bright and zesty mix of gin, honey syrup and lemon is such a refreshing combination.
Earlier today I checked the weather and boy… it’s not pretty. Relentless rain right through the week and thunder thrown in for added drama. After the first winter in my own home, I’ve never wanted to see warm weather more. I certainly took for granted someone else paying the heating bills, someone else worrying about the sheer battering that a storm can rage on the roof and don’t even get me started on trying to dry washing!
Those parts of adulthood aren’t fun. Cocktails however play a helpful role in resetting the balance. Let me give you some background on The Bees Knees.
The Bees Knees was developed during the prohibition era to make amateur bath tub gin palatable. This type of gin was much easier to make than a properly distilled spirit like whiskey or the gin that we know today. The meaning behind its name is still debated but it’s most likely that the bottles used were too tall to sit under any other tap but the bath tub. Bath tub gin was born and by all accounts it tasted bad.
The sharp lemon would cut through the foistiness of the badly made gin of that era and the honey would sweeten things up. Luckily for us, we can shake up a Bees Knees with any gin we fancy. I went for Bombay Sapphire for this particular glass but it would be nice to try out something with a honey finish like Hernö‘s Old Tom. Whatever you choose it is a gorgeous drink.
If you follow my honey syrup recipe, you’ll find out how to infuse various flavours in to the mix such as lemon and thyme. Even if you decide to make a plain honey syrup, you can still add those fragrant botanicals as a garnish for the Bees Knees. Drop in a swirl of lemon zest and a scrunch a tender sprig of thyme before resting on top to release the oils. It just adds that extra something to the finished drink and of course, makes it look that little bit prettier.
Set up a spot this weekend to make the Bees Knees Cocktails. It really is something to look forward to.
- 2 parts gin
- 1 part Honey syrup
- 1 part lemon juice
- Lemon zest to garnish
- Thyme (optional)
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add the gin, syrup and lemon juice.
- Close the shaker and shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
- Strain in to a glass and garnish.
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