Bee’s Knees Cocktail | Guest Post from Sarah of Reviews for No One

bees knees gin cocktail

When you’re someone who enjoys a good cocktail, it’s nice having like-minded cocktail-loving friends. Who else can you geek out with about things like the best sweet vermouth for Manhattans or how to serve a delicious punch without killing severely intoxicating your guests? Sarah—who writes a great book-review blog over at Reviews for No One—is one of those friends. When she posted a delicious-looking gin cocktail on Instagram a few weeks ago, I immediately thought GIMME, and then figured it’d be a great candidate for the blog. She gamely agreed to write a guest post, and here we are. Take it away, Sarah!

It’s almost October, but in the Midwest that means we’re feeling the last wispy breezes of summer. So on a recent 80-degree day, I took it as a sign that it was time to make my favorite gin drink one last time before it’s full-blown sweater weather: the Bee’s Knees.

Technically, it’s not specifically a summer drink. It’s yet another classic Prohibition-era cocktail that went from the forgotten drink of flappers to working its way into almost every Logan Square (read: hipster) bar opening these days. It also happens to be one of the easiest drinks to whip up at home. But gin in general just screams SUMMER to me and with the punch of citrus in this drink, it has porch sippin’ written all over it.

I favor simple, straightforward cocktails—the fewer ingredients the better. And the Bee’s Knees is just that. It pairs the bright, botanical notes of gin with the tartness of lemon juice plus a little honey for sweetness. That’s it. Just three ingredients, two of which are probably already in your kitchen right now.

That means all you really need to worry about is what kind of gin to use.

st. george gins

My sister got me this sweet little three-pack of St. George gins for Christmas and I have had a fantastic time playing with them! St. George’s comes in Terroir, Botanivore, and Dry Rye. The Terroir is that classic juniper-forward flavor, while the Dry Rye is spicy and oaky (hot tip: sub it in for your whiskey in your next Manhattan—it’s fantastic!). But the perfectly balanced Botanivore won out in the end.

I followed the Washington Post recipe exactly. Some recipes call for equal amounts of lemon juice and honey syrup, but I found that to be too tart. So, per the Post‘s recipe, I used:

  • 2 oz. gin
  • ¾ oz. honey syrup
  • ½ oz. lemon juice

Pour all ingredients into a shaker filled with ice, and then shake vigorously for 20 seconds or until the drink is chilled. Strain into a coupe glass and voilà!

bees knees gin cocktail in glass

“But,” you might say, “where do I get honey syrup?” Easy! It’s just like simple syrup—equal parts water and sugar—only you swap the sugar for honey. However, there’s no need to make some giant pot of the stuff just so you can stuff it in the fridge and forget about it.

Instead, pour about 1 tablespoon each of honey and water into a small bowl. Microwave for 10–15 seconds, and stir until thoroughly combined. Then you can pop the bowl with your single-serving sized bit of honey syrup straight into the freezer while you gather your ingredients and juice your lemon. A couple of minutes cools it off enough to stop it from affecting the flavor and temperature of the rest of your ingredients.

Aaaaand my mouth is watering. Thanks for sharing, Sarah!

Author and photography: Sarah Gorr

On My Radar

Change is good. If you’re a returning reader, you’ve probably noticed that this blog has undergone a mini makeover. It’s nothing too crazy, but I was tired of the previous layout and wanted something fresher and brighter. I’ll probably switch fonts a few more times until I find the right one, like the dutiful overthinker I am. Please let me know if you have trouble reading anything, if the layout’s terribly confusing, or even if you don’t like that color green. (I don’t know what kind of MONSTER wouldn’t like that seafoam green, though.)

With this change in look, I’m also going to augment the content a bit. For awhile now, I’ve been bouncing around ideas for new kinds of posts, only to shoot them down in my head for fear of failure. That toxic fear is unfortunately pretty common for me, and I’m doing my best to get over it and just write. It’s my own damn blog, after all. I’ll still post all the clothes and cocktails I make, but I’m going to start peppering in some new types of posts and series. “On My Radar” is a random assortment of topical and not-so-topical things that I consider worth sharing. Simple as that.

Without further ado:


Sweat: Yoga with Adriene

Any yoga teacher that says the word “fart” during class is alright in my book. Adriene Mischler, the namesake behind the Yoga with Adriene YouTube empire, has a way of making her online classes laid-back and accessible while explaining each pose perfectly and still imparting some grounding yogic wisdom. She’s got a series for true beginners, a more intense series called Yoga for Weight Loss, and specialty videos for everything in between.

I don’t know where she studied yoga, but her cues are by far the best I’ve ever heard in online yoga classes. If you want to supplement your studio yoga practice or just gain some flexibility, you should check her out. It’s weird, but after doing Adriene’s videos a few times a week for months, I feel like we’re almost… friends? My guess is that the other 825,000+ YouTube subscribers feel the same.

Here are some of my favorite Yoga with Adriene videos:

There are a few I’m forgetting, but you get the point. You can follow along with Adriene on her YouTube channelblog, and Instagram. Namaste, y’alls!

umbrella collective bucket bags

Drool: leather bucket bags from Umbrella Collective

These bags. They’re so buttery soft I could rub my face on them all day. I came across Umbrella Collective at a Renegade Craft Fair popup at the Hideout in Chicago. At first, I bypassed the booth since everything looked EX-PEN-SIVE. My curiosity brought me back, though, and I fell in love with a super-soft, navy bucket bag priced at $138—not cheap, but reasonable considering each product is handmade in the USA. For better or worse, I take every clothing and accessory purchase pretty seriously ever since I started sewing my own clothes. It means something to me that I got to meet the maker behind the bag, and I’m willing to save up for her quality product instead of impulse-buying something else. (Steps off soapbox.)

I didn’t buy anything that day at the craft fair, but I’ve been eyeing the brand’s goods on Etsy and Instagram ever since. The camel and navy leather purses and the striped canvas totes are on point. If I don’t go for a bucket bag, I might snag a canvas-and-leather tote. Which style do you like best?

Listen: Jemaine Clement on You Made It Weird

I went back and forth for awhile about which Flight of the Conchords member is sexier, but it’s got to be Jemaine. (Sorry, Bret.) That voice—dem LIPS! Anyway, I’ve been a fan of FotC since their first season on HBO, and even saw them live in concert in Chicago. If you’re a fan of Jemaine, check out episode 276 of the You Made It Weird podcast. In his wickedly dry deadpan, Jemaine talks to host Pete Holmes about death, being a dad, and American–New Zealand misunderstandings. My favorite quote of the episode involves fanny packs, and I’ll leave it at that.

bees knees gin cocktail
Image: Sarah Gorr via Facebook

Drink: Bees Knees gin cocktail

Save for the piña coladas I mixed up on the reg this summer, I’ve felt a little uninspired on the cocktail front lately. And then my friend Sarah, who blogs here, posted her version of the Bees Knees. It’s a simple, classic cocktail with just three ingredients: “gin, lemon juice, [and] honey simple syrup.” YASSS. All things that I have in the house (or can easily make). I will be mixing one of these before the summer’s out, and then probably into the fall, and then winter. I’m a Gin for All Seasons kind of girl.

Thanks for reading the first edition of this series! Now spill: What’s on your radar?