The Bee’s Knees Cocktail was created in the prohibition era, and like many others was a way of masking the lower quality spirits of the day. While legitimate spirits were hard to come by, bathtub gin was common, as adding botanicals could cover rough edges.

Happily today we have more great quality gins than we know what to do with given the Ginassance in the UK and beyond. Rock Rose Gin has quickly cemented its place on back bars everywhere – due to the incredible quality of the liquid and the distinctive ceramic bottle. Distilled at the most northern mainland distillery in the UK at Dunnet’s bay, Rock Rose Gin makes use of local botanicals and reflects its locality perfectly.

Working with Honey in Cocktails

Honey is a great choice as a natural sweetener for drinks, however it’s not easy to use in its natural state – its sticky, doesn’t dissolve easily and can leave a sticky mess in your shaker.

To make your honey more manageable, turn it into a honey syrup by mixing 3:1 with hot water. The heat will make the honey dissolve fully and pour more easily and the water added allows it to mix with alcoholic ingredients. Honey has such interesting and complex flavours that it can add to your cocktails that its worth the extra effort.

Bee’s Knees Cocktail Rock Rose

Back to the Bee’s Knees Cocktail…

  • 2oz (60ml) Rock Rose Gin
  • 1oz (30ml) Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1oz (30ml) 3:1 Honey Syrup

Shake and fine strain into a gin goblet over cubed ice. Garnish with a lemon twist, and if you can find them Rowan Berries and Sea buckthorn.

Serving a Bee’s Knees on the rocks? While traditionally the classic is served straight up, many more mainstream consumers of gin are becoming used to the goblet serve. Many of the same would perhaps be intimidated by the short and boozy appearance of a coupe drink, so try this and watch the sales soar! Of course, if it suits your venue better go straight up, but I think you’ll see better results in general over ice.

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