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Spicy Bee’s Knees – Hot Honey Cocktail

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Last Updated on June 11, 2023 by Leah Hall

A hot honey cocktail is the perfect way to use up your spicy honey. Instead of just on toast or pizza, try it in this bee’s knees!


We know it’s easy to get in a routine of pouring wine on a date night, but a spicy cocktail can be so much more fun! At least we think so! This one is spicy twist on the prohibition classic, and it all starts with homemade hot honey simple syrup. Combine it with lemon juice, Barr Hill Tom Cat Gin like we did, and you will win over your sweetheart!

Pouring gold cocktail from bronze shaker

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Pouring gold cocktail from bronze shaker

Bee’s Knees Cocktail

The Bee’s Knees is a Prohibition cocktail combining gin, lemon juice and honey syrup. The name is a homage of the time, the phrase “bee’s knees” was slang used to call something neat or fun!

The drink is said to be created by Frank Meier, a bartender who worked at the Hôtel Ritz Paris in the 1920s. It’s like a Gin Sour (gin, lemon & sugar) but uses honey instead of sugar. The honey creates a richer, darker drink, aaaaand it may have been used to cover up terrible gin, which happened a lot in the 20s.

hand placing chili pepper on rim of coupe glass

Usually in a typical Bee’s Knees a London Dry gin is used, but a modern gin with citrus and floral notes will play well with lemon and honey.  In our spicy version, we picked to use Barr Hill Tom Cat Gin.


Barr Hill Tom Cat Gin

Honey Simple Syrup

A homemade honey syrup in a regular Bee’s Knees is a simple combination of honey and water. In this case, we used half regular honey and half Hot Honey. You can go all hot honey if you like, but we liked the spice level in the 50/50 ratio.

Hot Honey Cocktail in coupe with chili pepper and edible flower

Honey by itself doesn’t mix into cold liquids well. It tends to clump and cause problems. So, it won’t really work to shake it in a shaker with ice. So, we make honey simple syrup from equal parts honey and water. The syrup mixes more easily into shaken and stirred cocktails.

To make honey simple syrup, warm the two together on the stove until you can whisk them together easily. That’s it! It will keep well in the fridge for two weeks.

Hot Honey Cocktail in coupe with chili pepper and edible flower

Hot Honey

We have recently discovered Mike’s Hot Honey.  This is not your normal honey, it is infused with hot chilies.  Mike’s Hot Honey is at a lot of grocery stores, but of course you can get it on Amazon, too.  So, go get a bottle, and make a hot honey cocktail! There are other brands, but this is the only one we have tried.

Hot Honey Cocktail in coupe with chili pepper and edible flower

What do You Put Hot Honey on?

Hot Honey is so versatile you should add it to wings, pizza, roasted veggies, marinades, charcuterie, and cocktails! 

Hot Honey Cocktail in coupe with chili pepper and edible flower

Does Hot Honey Need to be Refrigerated?

No, best stored at room temperature so it’s still runny and easy to use.


So make this spicy Bee’s Knees whenever you want to enjoy an easy, refreshing cocktail. It’s only three ingredients, so this hot honey cocktail can be a good option for parties, but make sure your friends like spice!

Hot Honey Cocktail in coupe with chili pepper and edible flower



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Like this recipe? Try these below, too!

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Whiskey Lush Cocktail - whiskey, spiced pineapple, great fall cocktailWhiskey Lush


Other Bee’s Knees Cocktails

Hot Honey Cocktail in coupe with chili pepper and edible flower
Yield: 1

Spicy Bee's Knees - Hot Honey Cocktail

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This spicy hot honey cocktail is a must make! Using hot honey to make the syrup, this Bee's Knees will be a perfect easy cocktail!


Spicy Honey Simple Syrup

  • 2 Tablespoons hot honey
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • .25 cup of water

Hot Honey Bee's Knees

  • 2 ounces Barr Hill Tom Cat Gin or any barrel aged gin
  • .75 ounce lemon juice
  • .50 ounce Spicy Honey Simple Syrup


Spicy Honey Simple Syrup

1. Combine honies and water in saucepan over medium high heat. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, turn off heat.

2. Pour into a jar and store in the fridge up to 2 weeks.

Hot Honey Bee's Knees

1. Combine gin, lemon juice and syrup in shaker with ice.

2. Shake and strain into coupe.

3. Garnish with chili pepper or lemon slice if desired.

4. Cheers!

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 191Total Fat: .2gSodium: 7mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: .1gSugar: 8.9gProtein: .2g

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