The Bees Knees is a classic cocktail that actually dates back to Prohibition. It is also as easy to make as it is fun to say. It is a relatively simple drink to make at home. Usually to me the classic Bees Knees cocktail consists of three ingredents: gin, honey syrup, and lemon. I like to say it's the Gold Rush of summer.
Recently I was flipping through my copy of The New Old Bar: Classic Cocktails and Salty Snacks from The Hearty Boys - I know the cover doesn't jump off the shelf like Vintage Cocktails, but remember the age old phrase "don't judge a book by its cover."
This book is a collection of their favorites, which have tried and tested to present you with the best of the best (in their opinion of course). For The New Old Bar, when it comes to their Bees Knees - it includes lavender. I love lavender; it pairs well with lemon and honey, so it is no surprise it levels up the concept of a Bees Knees.
Of course, that did not keep me from going a bit rogue in my version. I actually encourage you to experiment with recipes, because you might find you like a little more sweet or a little more tart and that is okay. I kept my lavender syrup simple (they had a mix of honey and sugar) and instead did a variation of my honey syrup recipe. This time I heated on the stove 1/4 honey with 1/4 water until combined. Then steeped 1. 5 teaspoons of dried lavender I harvested last summer (from my own plant). I let this steep until the mixture cooled. Then strained the honey through a tea leaf sieve.
From there I altered their recipe, but added a tinge more lemon and honey syrup. The New Old Bar called for 1/2 oz of lemon juice and 3/4 oz of lavender honey syrup. In the end, here is the recipe I concocted.
Bees Knees with a Hint of Lavender (ratio per drink)
2 ounces of Gin (since moving to the Midwest, I prefer local, smaller batch brands as seen below).
1 ounce lavender honey syrup
1 ounce lemon juice
Chill a coupe, martini, or if you prefer champagne glass (which is the exactly mood I was in tonight). While the glass is chilling pour the gin, lavender honey syrup, and lemon juice in a shaker, top with ice. Shake well to chill and combine contents. Then strain/pour in to prepared glass (an option is to do a sugar rim glass - where the sugar is mixed with left over dried lavender). I then topped the drinks with a spritz of lemon peel.
I hope this post inspired you to both try to Bee Kness, but experiment with how to make this classic cocktail your own.