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Origin & Recipe

bee's knees cocktail recipe with Barr Hill Gin

THE BEE'S KNEES COCKTAIL is a gin, lemon and honey classic that dates back to prohibition. The phrase “bee’s knees” was prohibition-era slang for “the best.” In that time, the addition of ingredients such as citrus and honey were often used to cover the less than ideal smell and taste of bathtub gin. Improving the taste of an inferior gin may have been the goal, but the result was a fantastic concoction that can hold its own today.

Barr Hill Gin is the perfect gin for this recipe. Owner Todd Hardie is a beekeeper and honey enthusiast. His small batch gin is finished with a touch of honey. I also use his honey for the honey simple syrup for this recipe. This pairing certainly is the bee’s knees.


  • 2 oz Barr Hill Gin
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz honey 
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • Garnish with a lemon twist

Add all ingredients to your shaker except for the garnish. Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.


Barr Hill Gin


Simple Syrup


Lemon Juice