When it comes to cocktails, it's hard to get easier than the Bee's Knees made with nothing more than gin, lemon, and honey. As each season comes along, I like to make different versions with various kinds of honey and flavors (hello, lavender)! But when the temps drop, this is a fave: a sage version that's just as simple but even more sophisticated.
For the syrup, bring equal parts honey and water to a simmer in a small saucepan until honey dissolves. Let cool to room temperature before using.
Syrup can be made up to 2 weeks in advance — store refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use. If you want stronger sage flavor, add a sprig of sage to the honey as it cools (discard before storing).
Combine gin, lemon juice, syrup, and 2 sage leaves in a cocktail shaker and stir to dissolve honey syrup. Fill shaker halfway with ice and shake until thoroughly chilled, about 10 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Smack the remaining sage leaf between your hands over the glass, drop into the drink and serve.
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