Bitters give a cocktail that certain something, and in this Lavender Bee's Knees they are the key ingredient. The addition of lavender bitters creates a delicious twist on a classic gin cocktail.
A Bee's Knees cocktail is a classic that's been on drink menus since the Prohibition era. Adding lavender bitters creates a delightful floral twist on this classic cocktail with minimal effort.
Honey simple syrup is quick and easy to make and since it lasts for weeks, it's something I keep in the refrigerator at all times. Which is why I use lavender bitters to flavor this cocktail - no special lavender honey syrup required! (Though if you want to make some, use my lavender syrup recipe and just swap out honey for the sugar.)
Garnish this drink with a sugar rim to make your cocktail feel extra special. Run a slice of lemon around part or all of the rim of your glass, then dip it into a shallow dish filled with sugar. I used colored sugar in the photos here, but that's entirely up to you!
- Your favorite gin
- A lemon
- Honey syrup
- Lavender bitters
How to Make a Lavender Bee's Knees
Combine gin, lemon juice, honey syrup, and lavender bitters together in a cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes.
Strain into a Nick and Nora or coupe glass.
- Make your honey syrup ahead of time so it has plenty of time to chill in the refrigerator. It should be cold before using it in your drink.
- This is a small cocktail, designed to be sipped, so serving it in a chilled glass is ideal. To chill your glass, fill it with ice before starting your cocktail preparation. Once your drink is done, toss out the ice (and any water that's melted along with it), and strain in your drink.
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FAQs and Substitutions
There are only 4 ingredients, so fresh lemon juice is a must in this drink. One lemon should provide enough juice for at least 2 cocktails. Before you cut into it, roll your lemon on the counter while firmly pressing down to help the lemon release as much juice as possible.
Heat ½ cup water in a small saucepan. Add ½ cup honey into the hot water and stir until the honey dissolves. Be sure to make the syrup ahead of your cocktail hour so it has time to chill before you make your cocktail. Shaking up a cocktail with warm syrup will make the ice start to melt quickly in the shaker, putting too much water in your drink.
You can garnish with a thin slice of lemon, a lemon twist, or even fresh lavender sprigs, but my favorite garnish for this Lavender Bee's Knees recipe is a sugar rim. How to do it: Before you make your cocktail, run a lemon slice on the edge of your glass and dip the glass into a shallow plate of raw or colored sugar. You can also mix crushed lavender flowers into the sugar for an extra special touch.
Most stores that carry liquor also carry bitters. Look for them in the section with cocktail mixers and garnishes. You can also buy lavender bitters online. I love Scrappy's Lavender Bitters in this cocktail.