Okay so the first cocktail is an unofficial entry. It doesn’t appear in the Ultimate Bar Book, but I came across it whilst flicking through other books in the drinks section of my local bookstore. It was also the drink that spurred the idea, once I’d finished it, so there aren’t any pictures for this one.
A Bee’s Knees, apart from having an awesome name, is a gin-based cocktail that dates back to Prohibition times. The drink combines gin with lemon and honey, apparently the original idea was to mask the flavor of bathtub gin through the use of these flavors.
1 1/2 ounces gin (I used London Dry No.3 Gin)
3/4 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce honey syrup
Combine the gin, lemon juice and honey syrup in a shaker (with strainer) with ice. Shake vigorously and pour into chilled cocktail glass.
My first attempt at a Bee’s Knees is not actually the recipe listed here. I used 2 ounces of gin and only half an ounce each of lemon juice and honey straight from the bottle. The resulting mixture was like a swift kick to the guts. Holy crap it had some kick. The lemon didn’t hang around long enough to mask the fact that there was a lot of gin and the honey just solidified due to the ice and didn’t really influence the drink at all. Needless to say, powering through it left me feeling mighty buzzed.
I did randomly find that taking a bite of dark chocolate beforehand, and having that chocolate bitterness left over, made for a pretty kickass flavor combination. Regardless of strength the Bee’s Knees was going down quickly after that. Lesson learned is chocolate makes everything better.
The second attempt is the one listed here and it was a much better mix. The sweetness of the honey actually worked surprisingly well. I’d never had a cocktail with honey in it before, but I’d be open to using it more often after this. Overall it ends up being a very smooth drink with some nice flavors that is very easy to make and is something that I would have again, many, many times.