A sage and honey-infused twist on the classic Bee’s Knees cocktail. This gin cocktail recipe uses fresh orange and lemon juice with a homemade honey-sage simple syrup. Fruity, herbaceous and lightly sweet!
In this cocktail recipe, sage infused in a honey simple syrup transforms the traditional Bee’s Knees cocktail. Plus a combination of fresh lemon juice and orange juice for the perfect twist to a delicious and simple drink.
For a different light and refreshing cocktail idea, try my Strawberry-Basil Vodka Cocktail! You could also try that with gin if that's your go-to! You will particularly enjoy this drink if you go for the sweeter, lighter cocktails.
Highlights of this Recipe
This recipe is:
- A twist on a classic
- Fruity & herbaceous
What is a Bee’s Knees Cocktail?
The Bee’s Knees is a Prohibition era cocktail. The classic recipe has gin, lemon juice and honey. In Prohibition times, “bee’s knees” was the slang phrase to mean “the best.” This gin cocktail was created because honey and lemon mask the flavor of the gin.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Gin - Gin is the classic ingredient for this recipe, but substitute for alcohol of choice or use your favorite non-alcoholic liquor.
- Orange Juice - Fresh orange juice works best for this gin cocktail. Substitute for store bought.
- Lemon Juice - Fresh lemon juice works best to bring out the balance of tart and sweet in this cocktail
- Homemade Honey Sage Simple Syrup - This homemade honey and sage simple syrup bring a lot of flavor to this classic cocktail. Substitute for traditional simple syrup, maple syrup or honey.
If you are contemplating using regular simple syrup instead of the "hassle" of making one yourself - the honey simple syrup is life changing. It really changes the flavor of the classic Bee's Knees cocktail. This sage infused honey simple syrup is entirely worth the process and takes this cocktail to a whole nother level, I promise!
STEP ONE: Make the honey syrup by combining equal parts honey and water.
STEP TWO: While the simple syrup cools, add the sage to infuse.
STEP THREE: When the homemade honey syrup is cooled, add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker.
STEP FOUR: Shake and strain into a coupe or martini glass.
TIP! For an extra cold cocktail, you can pre-chill your glasses while you’re making your drink!
A cocktail shaker is needed for this cocktail recipe. Any cocktail that has simple syrup, juice, or liqueurs should be shaken in a shaker.
Coupe Glass or Martini Glass
Use a coupe glass or martini glass for drinks served straight up / up - an alcoholic drink that is shaken with ice and then served in a stemmed glass without ice.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can substitute the honey in this homemade syrup with agave syrup or maple syrup! If you have neither you can always use coconut sugar or regular granulated sugar.
Homemade simple syrup can last up to 10-days in the fridge.
Any kind of gin is great in this classic cocktail. I highly suggest using a medium-priced gin rather than a cheap version. I used Hendrick's Gin.
Love gin cocktails?
Sage Bee's Knees Cocktail
Honey Sage Simple Syrup
- ½ Cup Honey
- ½ Cup Water
- 3 Sage Leaves washed thoroughly
Bee’s Knees Cocktail
- 2 Ounces Gin
- 2 Tablespoons orange juice, freshly squeezed freshly squeezed or store-bought
- 2 Tablespoon Lemon Juice about ½ lemon
- 1 Ounces Honey Sage Simple Syrup above
Sage Honey Simple Syrup
- Bring honey and water to a simmer in a small pot.
- Simmer until the mixture is smooth and combined, about 5-minutes.
- Set aside to cool completely.
- Add sage to the small pot and let infuse. (Minimum 10-minutes, but the taste will get more pronounced if left in until room temperature)
Make the Cocktail
- Add honey simple syrup to your cocktail shaker with the gin, lemon juice, orange juice, and ice.
- Shake for 15-seconds.
- Strain into a coupe or martini glass (no ice).
- Garnish with a sage leaf or twisted lemon peel.