The Bee’s Knees is a variant of the gimlet, in which honey is used in place of sugar syrup. It takes a bit of work to mix, but the result is a smooth gin drink in which the lime juice melds the complex sweetness of the honey and the herbal notes of the gin. This drink was likely concocted in the halcyon days of the gimlet, the Roaring Twenties, and named after the slang phrase of the time. The lemon garnish for a lime drink is purely for color, I mean, who has ever seen a green bee?
In a separate glass, thoroughly mix the gin and honey.
Pour the resultant mixture and lime juice over crushed ice and shake.
Strain into a cocktail glass.
Garnish with a wheel of lemon.
I tend to mix this drink in pairs, doubling the ingredients, as making this cocktail takes a bit of effort. You want to make sure that the honey is thoroughly dissolved in the gin, or else the ice will catch it and become tainted.
In recent decades, as gin has fallen out of favor as a base for sweeter drinks, the Bee’s Knees has been varied to a (white) rum drink. If you should order this drink at a bar watch the bartender carefully to make sure he does not begin to mix Trader Vic’s Bee’s Kiss (a rum and cream drink), or a Stinger (brandy and crème de menthe).
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