The classic Bee’s Knees cocktail gets a little facelift with added sweet fruit juice, then blended. It’s refreshing and delicious – perfect for spring or summertime. Make a single drink or just multiply the ingredients to satisfy a group.
My husband used to work at a bar many moons ago and sure knows how to whip up a good cocktail. One of his favorites is a simple gin and tonic or a Bee’s Knees, which is made with gin, lemon, and honey. Not my thing, however. So, last year he doctored it up to include fruit juice (definitely my thing!) and blended the mixture until frothy. With a bright essence and sweet flavor, this revised version is simply lovely – perfectly suited to its name.
It’s the Bee’s Knees
The classic Bee’s Knees cocktail dates all the way back to the Prohibition-era, when the phrase became slang for “the best.” It only calls for 3 ingredients – gin, lemon juice, and honey. Created by the Australian-born, Frank Meier, who tended bar at the Hotel Ritz Paris in the 1920’s, some say he probably altered the cocktail with honey to develop a richer drink and hide the taste of low-quality gin, which is what was wildly available at the time.
Of course today, there are tons of different gins made with top-quality ingredients. The one ingredient that all gins have in common, though, is the juniper berry. Gin pairs so well with citrus, so we gave this drink a little facelift by adding pineapple juice and grapefruit juice…and it’s so much better! It’s a perfectly refreshing drink to enjoy in spring and summer on your front porch.
Bees Knees Cocktail Recipe
Here’s what you’ll need to make our version:
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Gin: Since this is the star of the show, use a gin that suits your taste and you enjoy drinking.
- Honey: Adds richness and sweetness.
- Pineapple juice: Pineapple is naturally sweet and tart. It’s a great addition to this drink.
- Grapefruit juice: Grapefruits are a year-round fruit, so we recommend squeezing it fresh, but you can definitely buy it to save time.
- Lemon juice: This adds a tart acidity and balances out the sweet honey. Use fresh.
- Crushed ice
One more alteration we made was blending all the ingredients instead of using a cocktail shaker.
Bees Knees Cocktail Variations
- Original Bees Knees: Just gin, lemon juice, and honey.
- Make it sweeter: Simply add in more honey.
- Don’t like gin? This cocktail also works with vodka.
How to make a Bees Knees Cocktail
In addition to the fruit juices we included, one more alteration we made was blending all the ingredients until frothy, instead of using a cocktail shaker. Let it settle a bit and then pour into old fashioned glasses filled with ice. To make this Bee’s Knees recipe, follow the steps below included in the printable recipe card. Make sure to refer back to the article for more information!
Other Cocktails to Enjoy
Bee’s Knees Cocktail
- 1 1/3 cups pineapple juice
- 1 cup gin
- 3/4 cup lemon juice
- 3/4 cup grapefruit juice
- 1/4 cup honey
- Crushed ice
- Blend all ingredients in a blender until frothy. Let settle a bit.
- Pour into old fashioned glasses over ice.
- Garnish with a thin lemon slice and/or honey dipper, if desired.