Now Serving – Cinnamon Bee’s Knees

By The Gentleman

Cinnamon Bee's Knees

Today on the Cocktail Challenge we have a bit of a blast from the past for you. We’ve revisited the first drink we ever made on the Cocktail Challenge, the Bee’s Knees. God we really didn’t have any idea what we were doing back then. Not that we have much idea what we were doing then, we’re just better at faking it now. We always said we wanted to come back to it so we did, putting a little twist on it by giving it a cinnamon boost.


Cinnamon Bee’s Knees

60ml Four Pillars Barrel Aged Gin

30ml Cinnamon honey syrup

30ml Lemon Juice


Cinnamon stick to garnish


Prep your martini glass by filling it with ice. Then grab your cocktail shaker and fill it with ice. Pour in the gin, honey syrup and lemon juice. Shake it hard for about 20 seconds. Remove the ice from glasses and strain in. Garnish with your cinnamon stick.

Cinnamon Bee's Knees

Cinnamon Honey Syrup

2tbs cinnamon infused honey

2tbs hot water

1/4 cinnamon stick

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon


Place the honey in a bowl. Pour over the hot water and stir until the honey has melted to create a syrup. Add in the ground cinnamon and cinnamon stick. Leave to infuse for about 15-20 minutes and then remove the cinnamon stick. Place in the fridge to cool. I already had a cinnamon infused honey to start with. If you don’t then up then double the amount of cinnamon and leave it to infuse for closer to 30 minutes.

Cinnamon Bee's Knees

It’s nice to know that after investing countless time and money into our cocktail habit we have improved marginally. This time we even managed to do the honey right, getting a little bit fancy and adding some cinnamon because cinnamon makes everything better. There was no solidified honey in the shaker for us, oh no. That bad boy got mixed in real good. The sweeter Barrel Aged Gin also definitely provides a different flavour than the London No.3 Dry Gin we used last time. The gin is less in your face, mixing nicely with the lemon and honey. The drink overall is much sweeter, with the cinnamon providing a delicious aroma and just a bit of a tingling sensation on your tongue and lips. It’s not an overly strong cinnamon flavour, but something surprisingly subtle. A touch less on the lemon juice may allow the cinnamon to shine through even more. Really this was just something that was very easy to drink mixing two of our favourite things, gin and cinnamon.

Cinnamon Bee's Knees

Sometimes a trip down memory lane is a bad thing and looking over the first post on the Cocktail Challenge was a bit cringe worthy. We were such noobs. Luckily the Cinnamon Bee’s Knees made it worth the reflection.


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Now Serving – Bee’s Knees Cocktail

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.

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