It’s been a few weeks now but our weekend away lingers on in the form of gin, lemon, and honey. It’s called a Bee’s Knees and I’m desperately trying to make up for the lost time when we, sadly, did not know of one another.
A chance meeting that I won’t soon forget. Gabe and I arrived early to our dinner at the Willow’s Inn. We had planned on a cocktail before we sat down to a much anticipated meal. The cocktail menu overwhelmed the senses with ingredients like Nettles and Elderflower – making a decision proved difficult. We settled on a Bee’s Knees. With three simple ingredients it sounded both intriguing and refreshing.
Without the weight of so many additions of syrups and infusions each flavor is prominent. As a good team should, they work together producing a perfectly balanced drink – tart and sweet with a pungent punch of Gin, which, when you have the right Gin, is never a bad thing.
Speaking of the right Gin, I think I’ve found it. Now I’m no expert but I’ve found this Gin and I have no plans to abandon it soon. It’s Hendrick’s. Hailing from Scotland, this gin is brilliantly infused with cucumber and rose. It was love at first sip.
Much to the dismay of my husband, I mix drinks like I cook – a little of this, a dash of that. He of the fastidious coffee brewing routine uses an actual shot glass to concoct his cocktail. I’ll give both of our recipes in order to appease both personality types.
Since there are only three ingredients it’s imperative that they all are of the best quality possibly. I start with a few of tablespoons of room temperature water in the bottom of an 8 oz tumbler. To that I add a few teaspoons of honey. I stir that until most of the honey is dissolved. From there I add a couple of tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, plucking out the seeds that fall into my glass. To that, one shot of gin and a handful of ice until the cup nearly overflows. I take a preliminary sip to make sure I’ve found the perfect balance – one that nearly causes my lips to pucker before I’m hit with the sweetness of honey and the floral gin. A wedge of lemon tucked into the ice and I’m off to drink.
An actual recipe …
When I came into a heap of local cherries this week I threw them into my cup, added about a teaspoon of honey then muddled that with the end of my rolling pin – I know, classy right? Then proceeded to add lemon juice, gin, and a splash of soda water. No complaints.
2 oz gin
½ oz lemon juice
¾ oz honey syrup*
Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon.
Feel free to adjust the ratio as you may prefer more or less sweetness.
Combine equal parts honey and water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir until honey is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool slightly then place in an airtight container and keep in the fridge.
It’s funny, as I was reading your version of the bees knees I thought, “honey SYRUP” then when I got to your husband’s way I chuckled. If you want the sugar evenly dissolved throughout the drink it’s best to make a syrup. It might not surprise you that I have a baker’s mind. 🙂 you cooks with your dash of this and splash of that.
@Domestique – The first time I made the drink at home I made honey syrup but after that I just didn’t bother. The honey dissolved right in. Glad I posted both recipes. 🙂
I’ll try it
Your posts makes me so excited! We are going to Scotland in a few weeks. I will be so tickled to come across a bottle of this Scotland gin. And, your photos are beautiful.
@Riley – Scotland?! I can’t wait to hear about your trip. Bring me back some gin. 😉
Oh how I curse you that you live so far away! We could make great conversations while watching your children destroy something while sipping drinks…ahhh just the thought brings a smile to my face.
ps….I put something on the blog…are your ears burning? We were talking about you many times during the weekend…best check out tutusblogspot 🙂
@MG – mmmm those mallows looked great. I’ll have to ask Mark for tips on how to fire-roast homemade marshmallows. I have yet to master that valuable skill.
I’ve just discovered Pink Spruce Gin seasoned in Oregon Pinot Barrels, by Rogue Distillery in Portland.
Really quite nice.
@FlourishingFoodie – I’ll have to give it a try. Thanks for the heads up.
I love your writing just as much as your recipes & photos 😉 Now, I just need some gin!
@Jenn – Thanks for making my night. 🙂 You are too sweet.
this IS the bees knees for me. I’m having one tonight! Thanks.
@Maureen – That’s what I like to hear. I hope you love it as much as I do.
Oh you had me at Gin! I love a good cocktail- and now people are getting really frisky with cocktails; but its still nice to see a simple yet delicious cocktail!
@Bianca – I couldn’t agree more. You’d probably love this as much as I do. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/06/22/dining/20110622-summer-drink-recipes.html
I love the fresh takes on gin cocktails, and that name is just too cute!
I’m cracking up – my husband and I cook the same way. I throw things in, he measures. Luckily I get to keep the gin all to myself though…which is probably the secret to a good marriage, let your wife her cocktail.
I need to meet this drink. What a tasty sounding elixer!
Oh I LOVE Hendrick’s. It’s my go-to gin. Try it with muddled cucumber, it’s really nice. Also, instead of honey, try elderflower syrup or liqueur, though I don’t know how widely available these things are outside the UK.
Honey and cherries. Lemon and gin. Ice. Welcome, Summer.
Hello, I just discovered your lovely blog and wasn’t I lucky that it started with such a refreshing cocktail. Cocktails on the dock at five…this to be included.
So simple, lemon honey gin. Hello summer and long nights in the back yard with a little sipper in hand. Hendricks is the best gin in its price point – hands down winner.
I’ve heard good things about Hendrick’s gin. Need to give it a try sometime.
My brother-in-law introduced me to Hendrick’s a few years ago, and I haven’t switched since. Glad you’ve discovered it too!
I am incredibly fond of Hendrick’s gin. There’s a reason we don’t keep it around the house. I’m obsessed and would drink loads of them every night if it were in our cabinet.
Lucky me. I happen to have Hendrick’s Gin on hand! This looks so refreshing. I also happen to have some St. Germain’s Elderflower liquer and wonder if that might make a reasonable substitute for the honey syrup? I’ll report back…thanks for the inspiration!
You’re my kinda cook – and booze recipes to boot!
can’t believe i wandered in today of all days, when i have everything needed for that cherry pink version, even the fresh rosemary (i just planted one). tomorrow’s forecast a hot, hot day. i’ll have nothing better to do than get a bit tipsy in the shade… cheers!
I adore Hendrick’s gin and I love the gorgeous bottle almost as much. The Bee’s Knees sounds like, well, the bees knees. I have a fresh bottle of local honey so this *will* be made tomorrow. The cocktail that introduced me to Hedrick’s is soda + gin + muddled fresh strawberries and mint. Like summer in a glass!
What a lovely color and such refreshing drink! And honey & cherry…great combo.
This is absolute perfection!
Nice. Now I know what you did with some of your cherries. Me too, by the way, on a little-of-this-and-a-little-of-that cooking.
My husband and I recently discovered Hendrick’s gin and LOVE it. We now seek it out at bars when we go out for drinks.
I love gin! These look delicious 🙂
Oh my goodness, this looks like the perfect summery alternative to my beloved gin and tonic! Thank you! It looks delicious.
So, so going to try this soon. We’ve been enjoying some Dark and Stormies, a la Brian from the blue hour. It is my current heartthrob. Hoping yours is my next summer crush. Thanks!
@Amanda – I LOVE dark and stormy’s
Hendrick’s Gin is The Best! It has officially turned me into a gin snob, seriously. Thanks for adding another gin cocktail to my list of summer libations 🙂
My wife just mentioned the other day that she wanted to pick up a bottle of Hendrick’s Gin. She absolutely loves lemons, too, so this may be just the drink to test out the gin. Wonderful photos!
Mmm, this drink was delicious! I have you to thank for inspiring me to try gin. 🙂 Gin wasn’t on my radar before reading your posts, but now gin-based drinks have become my summertime go-to cocktail.
I just came upon this…
This drink really is the bee’s knees! My dad made this for me a couple of months ago and it made me realize that gin isn’t all that bad- in fact, it’s delicious!
Wonderful. That pretty much sums it up. I’ve been missing out.
Yum! I had all the ingredients for this and found your recipe with an online search. I’m so glad that I found you! This is delicious!,
Try it wit Caledonia Spirits’s Barr Hill Gin…. just discovered it this last weekend. It’s finished with a little bit of honey… and as much as I love Hendricks, Barr Hill is an AMAZING fit with this cocktail…
That sounds so good!