This Honey Orange Gin Cocktail has a few ingredients in common with a Bee’s Knees cocktail - like gin, and honey syrup - but it is a decidedly different sip.
Fresh orange juice, orange bitters, and a squeeze of lime dial up the citrus while fresh mint brings a delicious, refreshing note to this easy, happy hour drink.
Looking for another delicious recipe with fresh citrus, try this Garibaldi Cocktail.
I like to have multiple uses for any cocktail syrup I make, but honey syrup isn’t a common cocktail ingredient. When I found myself only using it for a Bee’s Knees or a Lavender Bee’s Knees, I knew it was time to start working on a new cocktail.
Honey is delicious with citrus, and citrus is delicious with gin, so this drink combination seemed inevitable! It’s light, refreshing, and perfectly balanced. It's ideal for a hot day or a quick and easy happy hour.
- Your favorite gin - I love a juniper forward gin in this one like New Holland Knickerbocker
- Honey syrup - Quick and easy to make yourself. Just be sure to give it time to cool before using.
- Orange bitters - You can leave these out if you don't have any, but I love what they add to the drink and are fairly easy to find at your local liquor store or online.
- An orange, a lime, mint leaves - Fresh, fresh, fresh. No bottled juice here!
How to Make a Honey Orange Gin Cocktail
Juice the orange and lime.
Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker full of ice.
Shake it up!
Double strain into a Nick and Nora glass or a coupe glass.
Garnish with a sprig of mint, lemon slice, or dehydrated orange slice.
FAQs and Substitutions
If you’re not a fan of gin - or don't have any on hand - substitute vodka for the gin. I’ve tested this recipe with both, and while I prefer gin, both are delicious.
Buy an orange and lime for this recipe. With 6 ingredients - 2 being juice - squeezing fresh juice from the fruit is important for the flavor of the drink. You will likely get the juice you need from half of the orange and a quarter of the lime. Before you cut into them, roll your orange and lime on the counter while applying pressure with your palm to get the most juice possible from the fruit.
I love the flavor in New Holland’s Knickerbocker Gin. If you can’t find New Holland, Bombay Gin would be a delicious substitute. If you’re new to gin, try Aviation Gin or Beefeater Gin. Both have mild profiles without strong juniper (“pine tree”) notes.
The honey syrup should be cold when you use it, so make it earlier in the day - or a day in advance - so it has time to chill completely in the refrigerator. I often make my syrups in the morning in order to have them ready for happy hour. For details on how to make honey syrup, including instructions for cooling it quickly, see my DIY Simple Syrup page.
Double straining - straining your drink from the shaker, through a fine mesh sieve, and into your glass - keeps out any small mint or ice pieces that would otherwise get into your glass. If you don’t mind these small pieces being in your drink, feel free to skip this step and strain your drink from the cocktail shaker directly into your glass.
Happy Hour Snack Pairing
Enjoy your Honey Orange Gin Cocktail with these easy Slow Cooker Savory Spiced Nuts. They're the perfect happy hour snack!