Last Updated on January 23, 2022 by The Noms
This Barenjager Bee’s Knees cocktail is so tasty and so easy to make with just 3 ingredients, perfect for Bee’s Knees Week!
There is no better way to close out a busy National Honey Month than with a cocktail! Specifically, a Bee’s Knees. A classic, with only three ingredients (gin, honey syrup, and lemon juice), this cocktail recipe is simple, but has an interesting history!
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A Bee’s Knees is a Prohibition cocktail, meaning it was invented in the 1920s when drinking in the US was illegal. Gin was used as the base spirit, sometimes homemade gin, and because these homemade spirits were often pretty bad, they needed ingredients that would make them drinkable.
Bee’s Knees Cocktail
In the Bee’s Knees cocktail honey syrup and lemon juice were used to cover up the bad tasting gin!
This 100 year old cocktail has lasted, mostly in thanks to its perfect balance of honey simple syrup and lemon juice. Not too sweet, not too sour, it’s a great sipper. It’s a great refreshing cocktail to be enjoyed year round, especially in the warm days of September.
Bee’s Knees Week
Our friends at Caledonia Spirits launched Bee’s Knees Week in 2017 to call attention to the importance of honey bees. Honey bees are vital to our food systems (and drinks!). During Bee’s Knees week, participating bars and restaurants across the country will be serving Bee’s Knees cocktails and donating a portion of their profits to organizations that support the health of the honey bee industry!
This year’s Bee’s Knees Week is September 24-October 3, which is the perfect close to National Honey Month. Caledonia Spirits have a map of all participating venues where you can have a great cocktail while helping the honey bees.
If there is not a participating place near you, may we suggest that you make a Bee’s Knees at home, and we have a great recipe for you, below!
Why Should We Take Care of the Bees?
Because chefs and bartenders need citrus, herbs and other ingredients that depend on pollination. Bees are needed for these things, if we didn’t have bees we would have no flowers or plants, or anything really, no more coffee! Human life depends on them! Bees are endangered due to habitat loss and Bee’s Knees Week is our way of directly helping the bees!
How Can You Support Bee’s Knees Week?
Order a Bee’s Knees cocktail at a favorite bar or restaurant or make one at home. Share on your social media and tag #beeskneesweek @barrhillgin. Caledonia Spirits will plant 10 square feet of bee habitat for every photo shared!
For: 1) a celebration of the bee’s knees cocktail.
2) a spotlight on the importance of bees in our food and drink system.
3) a community of bartenders working together to save the bees.
Barenjager Honey Liqueur
In partnering with Barenjager Honey Liqueur we wanted to make sure to highlight the honey flavor of the liqueur in the Bee’s Knees Cocktail. But, we also didn’t want it to be overpowering or too sweet. So, we paired it with the obligatory lemon juice and exchanged the gin for aquavit.
Barenjager Honey Liqueur was originally called Barenfang “Bear Trap”, and the drinkable honey wasn’t just enticing to a bear, it soon became the drink of choice for the bear hunter, too! It developed as a mead like “moonshine” among the “Bärenjägers,” (bear hunter), of medieval Europe. By the 15th century, these brews were made by many. It was around the time that Tuecke & Koenig Bear Trap Company introduced the first commercially produced liqueur, which was Bärenjäger.
The taste of Barenjager is pleasant with cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and cardamom together. Can be used instead of honey or agave as a sweetener when needing to sweeten and spice a drink.
Aquavit is close to gin, but we wanted the dill and caraway flavors in aquavit to work with the honey. It is mostly distilled in Scandinavia and made using grain and potatoes. There are other herbs involved, but dill and caraway are the dominating flavors, but can have fennel, cumin and anise as adding flavors. We thought it would go really well as a gin replacement, and make the cocktail herbal, which is representative of Bee’s Knees Week!
2021 marks the 5th annual celebration of Bee’s Knees Week. In 2020 there were over 7,400 #beeskneesweek posts on social media, helping to create over 74,000 square feet of new pollinator habitat. There has been an increase in pollinators since starting this initiative.
This year they have set an ambitious goal, aiming to plant 500,000 square feet of new pollinator habitat with the help of our friends and fans! So please help them out!
Also, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and tag #gastronomcocktails so we can see all the wonderful recipes YOU recreate from this site!
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Like this recipe? Try these below, too!
Other Honey Cocktails
- Honey Bourbon Pear Cider
- Spiced Honey Orange Margaritas – Parsnips and Pastries
- Bee Sting – Honey & Birch
- Sparkling Elderflower Prosecco Cocktail – Garlic & Zest
- Apricot and Honey Bourbon Sour
This Barenjager Bee's Knees is a delightful and simple Prohibition cocktail that we have switched up. We combined Barenjager Honey Liqueur with akavit and lemon juice!
- 2 ounces Aquavit Liquor
- .75 ounce Barenjager Honey Liqueur
- .50 ounce lemon juice
- Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice.
- Shake and strain into coupe.
- Garnish with lemon peel, or dill flowers like we did!
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 222Total Fat: .2gSaturated Fat: .1gSodium: 6mgCarbohydrates: 10.3gFiber: .1gSugar: 10.2gProtein: .1g
PIN THIS BEE’S KNEES COCKTAIL RECIPE FOR LATER!
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