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.
The history of the Bee’s Knees Cocktail dates back to the Prohibition Era. A time when alcohol was illegal, but speakeasies allowed for a good time behind closed doors.
During this era, there were bathtub gin cocktails, which was essentially a homemade alcoholic beverage. To avoid the harsh aroma of the homemade alcohol, lemon and honey were added to the cocktail giving us what we know today as the Bee’s Knees Cocktail.
The Classic Bee's Knees Cocktail is enjoyed best when prepared with the smooth London Dry Gin, and topped with a sweet or sour honey syrup.
To Make The Honey Syrup: 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).
To Make The Bee's Knees Cocktail: 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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