The Bee’s Knees

f you enjoyed the gimlet from last week’s newsletter and you’re looking for another easy, shaken gin drink to test gins, may I suggest the Bee’s Knees? Like the gimlet, it’s a gin sour, but instead of lime juice and sugar, the Bee’s Knees calls for lemon juice and honey syrup.

Honey syrup is one of the easiest and quickest syrups to make: Just whisk together three parts honey to one part warm water. In addition to giving cocktails a distinct wildflower sweetness, it also changes the weight and texture of the drink, making it thicker and heavier. Honey drinks are always a little bit decadent.

For the gin, you can, as always, go with Beefeater, which gives it a pleasant but not overbearing lemony sharpness. But this drink also works well with other mass-market dry gins, such as Tanqueray and Bombay Sapphire.

The real trick to a Bee’s Knees is to employ a technique known as a regal shake, in which you shake the drink with a strip of citrus peel — in this case from a grapefruit. This infuses some of the oils from the grapefruit skin into the mixture, giving it a subtle extra layer of flavor.

  • 3/4 ounce honey syrup
  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice
  • 2 ounces dry gin
  • strip of grapefruit peel


  1. Combine all ingredients in a shaking tin, including strip of grapefruit peel.
  2. Add ice, then shake until thoroughly chilled.
  3. Strain into a coupe or Nick & Nora glass.
  4. Garnish with a (freshly cut) grapefruit peel.


Cocktails with Suderman, March 10, 2021


  • I need proper measuring equipment

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