Bee’s Knees Cocktail Recipe

Bee’s Knees Cocktail Recipe

A 1920’s classic straight from the hotel Ritz Paris. The Bee’s Knees is easy to make, bright, sweet and tangy – a cocktail worthy of its name!

Bee’s Knees Cocktails

What’s in a Bee’s Knees?


  • 50ml Penrhos London Dry Gin
  • 25ml Lemon Juice
  • 20ml Honey Syrup 

How to Make a Bee’s Knees Cocktail

  1. Chill a cocktail glass
  2. Add ice into a shaker then the gin, lemon juice and honey syrup and shake well.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  4. Garnish with a lemon twist.

How to make honey syrup for a Bee’s Knees

50:50 mix of honey & hot water, dissolve and let cool, then add to cocktails.

Bee's Knees Cocktail with Lemon Zest

Where does the Bee’s Knees come from?

During the 20’s in the countries where prohibition was enforced, there was a lot of bathtub gin and rough liquor made. Cocktails came about to try and mask the harsh taste of the poor-quality alcohol.

The Bee’s Knees is credited to the hotel Ritz Paris and its bartender during the Roaring 20’s Frank Meier, who was Austrian-born. Quite a character, Meier was a key member of the Resistance during World War II while working at the Ritz.

A rather fun story about the origin of the Bee’s Knees is Mrs JJ Brown of Denver and Paris, a survivor of the Titanic and known as ‘the unsinkable Molly Brown’ came up with the cocktail in a women’s only bar in Paris to hide a particularly strong gin. This was written in an article of the Standard Union in April 1929 but it’s acknowledged that Meier was the true creator.

Why is it called a Bee’s Knees?

It’s named after a common phrase in the 20’s, ‘It’s the Bee’s Knees’ meaning it’s excellent or the best.

Alternatives to the Classic Bee’s Knees

It’s been said that a good Bee’s Knees can convert a non-gin drinker to gin. This is a gateway cocktail to a long love affair with all the aromas and tasting notes of gins.

Chilli Bee's Knees in the Sunshine

Chilli Bee’s Knees


  • 50ml Penrhos Rhubarb Gin
  • 50ml Orange juice (fresh is best) freeze any leftovers for future garnishes
  • 25ml Hot Honey Syrup (50:50 Mix of spicy honey and hot water)

How to make a Chilli Bee’s Knees:

Add all ingredients into your shaker, shake with ice and strain into your cocktail glass. Garnish with a small chilli or chilli flakes.

To make hot honey syrup: If you can’t find hot honey, chop up one chilli and infuse with the honey syrup. Leave to cool before creating the cocktail.


Apple & Elderflower Bee’s Knees


  • 50ml Penrhos Apple and Elderflower
  • 25ml Lemon Juice
  • 20ml Honey Syrup (50:50 mix of honey & hot water, dissolve and let cool to add to cocktails)

How to make an apple & elderflower Bee’s Knees:

Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker, shake well and strain into a cocktail glass for a refreshing tasty drink.

Apple & Elderflower Bee's Knees

If you're inspired, why not try the classic Bee's Knees with our London Dry Gin

London Dry Gin in Aluminium Bottle


Our London Dry Gin has a fresh summer aroma. We use our own blueberries, cherry blossom, honey and the subtle flavours of pink pepper, cardamom and rose petals to create an extremely smooth fresh and pure gin.

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2 Chilli Bee's Knees with a chilli garnish in the sun

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