Bee’s Knees Cocktail

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The classic Bee’s Knees cocktail is made with gin, lemon, and honey. This version adds an extra touch by incorporating pineapple juice and grapefruit juice. While the drink originated a century or so ago, it is still a fresh and delicious libation for today!

Bee's Knees Cocktail in two glass with bee drink stirrers.
up close photo of Bee's Knees Cocktail with grapefruit slice.

In case you haven’t heard of a Bee’s Knees cocktail, it actually dates back to the Prohibition Era. The drink came about when citrus and honey were used to disguise the rather pungent smell and flavor of bathtub gin.

But don’t let its history scare you away. This Bee’s Knees cocktail is … well … the bee’s knees (a.k.a.the best)! And it just might be the new spring go-to! (Along with Blueberry Lemon Drop Martinis and Mango Mimosa!)

A traditional Bee’s Knees cocktail is just gin, honey, and lemon. Because I wanted something a bit more approachable and “now,” I added pineapple juice and grapefruit juice. The combination of flavors is so-o-o good.

two Bee's Knees Cocktail in glasses with gold bee drink stirrers.

Why You’ll Enjoy This Recipe

  • It’s easy to make. All you need to do is add the ingredients to a blender, blend, and serve over ice. It doesn’t get much easier.
  • Delicious. While a classic Bee’s Knees cocktail is delicious on its own, my version with pineapple juice and grapefruit juice takes it over the top. Being lightly sweet and brightly flavored, what’s not to love? 
  • Party Perfect!I love making a large batch of this and serving it for bridal/baby showers, Mother’s Day, Easter, or even New Year’s Day.
two Bee's Knees Cocktail in glass with pitcher in the background.

Ingredients

Ready to give it a try? Let me tell you what you’ll need. 

  • gin – Like the classic, a modern Bee’s Knees cocktail still contains gin, but don’t let that worry you if you’re not a fan of gin. The other flavors in the drink mask the gin. I used (and recommend) Henrick’s Gin for this recipe, however, you can use any brand you like.
  • lemon juice – As with any cocktail, I suggest using freshly squeezed lemon juice. It only takes a few minutes and the flavor is significantly better than the store-bought bottled variety. 
  • honey syrup – Honey and water are combined to make a honey syrup (like simple syrup with honey) that is easy to mix into the cocktail. Use local honey if you can, but any honey will work. 
  • pineapple juice – The pineapple juice cuts the sharpness and incorporates additional sweetness. 
  • grapefruit juice – Freshly squeezed is ideal, but I used the bottled Simply Grapefruit juice and it was lovely. 
two Bee's Knees Cocktail in glasses with gold tree stirrers.

How To Make

This recipe is pretty straightforward, but I’ll walk you through it regardless. For your convenience, I’ve also provided a full ingredient list and detailed instructions in the printable recipe card below.

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a blender.
  2. Blend until frothy.
pour a Bee's Knees Cocktail into a glass.
  1. Once the froth settles, pour the drink into glasses over ice and garnish with a grapefruit slice.

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I served my Bee’s Knees cocktails in these French wine glasses and added these golden bee drink stirrers for the perfect finishing touch.

two Bee's Knees Cocktail in glasses.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you stir honey into a cocktail? 

It’s pretty tricky. That’s why for this recipe I recommend creating a honey syrup by combining and heating honey with water. The honey syrup mixes into cocktail recipes beautifully. 

What kind of gin should I use?

As I mentioned above, I used Henricks for this recipe. Any mid to premium gin will work. Others to consider would be Tanqueray, Bombay Sapphire, or Aviation. 

I don’t care for gin, can I used vodka?

You sure can! That’s one of my favorite things about the art of cocktail making. Have fun adjust the ingredients to suit your tastes.

How many calories are in a Bee’s Knees?

This cocktail comes in at 269 calories per serving.

up close photo of Bee's Knees Cocktail in glasses.

More Cocktail Recipes You May Enjoy

I hope you’ll try blending up this refreshing Bee’s Knees cocktail. If you do, please leave a comment and a 5-star rating below. 

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A delicious Bees Knees Cocktail recipe! #beesknees #cocktail #recipe #summer #spring

Bee’s Knees Cocktail

This Bee’s Knees cocktail is a classic. The drink originated during Prohibition but is still a fresh and delicious libation for today!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bees knees cocktail, cocktail
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 269kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until frothy.
  • Allow the froth to settle; then serve in glasses over ice.
  • Garnish with grapefruit slices.

Nutrition

Calories: 269kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 210mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg

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7 Comments

  1. Due to some meds I am taking, I am not allowed to drink grapefruit juice. Ideas for a substitute? Can’t wait to try this one once winter finally leaves Norway!