The bee’s knees, along with the cat’s whiskers, entered the US lexicon in the 1920s. Both phrases are called into use to describe something of excellence. The Bee’s Knees, a sweet, citrus cocktail, lives up to its moniker, and will no doubt leave you buzzing too. This is one to sip when under the thrall of a dark and hazy speakeasy.
An abridged, inebriated history:
The Bee’s Knees is thought to have emerged during Prohibition era America, when bathtub gin was all the rage. Adding spoonfuls of honey to such bitter alcohol certainly would have helped to mask the harshness, and when mixed with the lemon would create a more appetising and sweet concoction. Honey wasn’t much of a fixture in the cocktail world at the time, but it provides warm, floral undertones that aren’t present in sugar and which create a complex maze of flavours when placed into a simple drink.
How to make a Bees Knees:
2 teaspoons honey
20ml fresh lemon juice
10ml fresh orange juice
Add gin and honey to a shaker and stir until the honey dissolves. Add the lemon and orange juice and top up with ice. Shake well. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with an orange zest twist or a sprig of lavender. Can also be served on the rocks.
Excerpted from Ginfoundry