Bee’s Knees Cocktail

Why I love it: This cocktail tastes phenomenal and is just a simple mix of only three ingredients that (I’m guessing) most of us always have in the house: gin, lemon and honey.

Bees Knees Cocktail

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Meet my new favorite gin cocktail, the Bee’s Knees. I was introduced to it during a super fun distillery tour Dan and I went on a few weeks ago. (At the Dancing Pines Distillery in Loveland. It’s a wonderful place, if you ever get the chance I highly recommend you visit).

We love to go on distillery tours, it’s always so inspiring to see and feel the love and passion that goes into these operations. And, of course, it’s equally fun to taste the product. After the tour we sat outside in the sun and enjoyed a Bee’s Knees cocktail and loved it. It’s a mix of gin, fresh lemon juice and honey that tastes sweet, sour, ginny and incredibly fresh, intense, pure and natural. Nothing against gin and tonics, I certainly like them too, but lemon juice and honey have a definite edge over the taste of quinine.

So where is the spice in this recipe, you ask? Well, there isn’t any (unless you count the botanicals that went into the gin). Normally that would rule it out for The Spice Train but I think this drink is so awesome that I felt compelled to share it with you here. :) 


Bee’s Knees Cocktail Recipe

serves 2

by Nicole Branan


  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 6 tablespoons ice-cold gin (I keep the bottle in the freezer)
  • 5 tablespoons lemon juice
  • lemon twists as garnish



  1. Combine all ingredients and let them sit for 10 minutes to start letting the honey dissolve.
  2. Stir to get all the honey dissolved.
  3. Divide between two glasses and serve with lemon twists.


Food Photography and Styling: This is a very simple cocktail and to reflect that I kept the photo very simple as well. I lit the drink from the back to get a reflection on the surface that made it look shiny, alive and inviting. (As always, I used my strobe to light the set). I needed something to focus my lens on and the lemon twist was the perfect (and really only) candidate for that but I had to meddle with it. I put a fake acrylic ice cube in the glass to prop up the lemon twist so that it would poke through the surface. Now that you know that you can probably see the cube, can you?

I put the gin bottle in the back for two reasons: 1) to give the photo a bit more atmosphere and 2) to imply that there is a lot of alcohol in this drink. (Not quite as much as is in the bottle but quite a bit).

The piece of fabric underneath the glass is one of those 99–cent pieces from Jo-Ann that I cut into a little square. It gave the drink a little more class than a paper napkin or the naked table surface would have done. (Plus, I didn’t have a paper napkin on hand). 

Nikon D600, 105mm, f/4, 1/125 sec., ISO 100. One Hensel Integra Pro Plus 500 Monolight, 35″ x 58″ Softbox.

This entry was posted in Drinks.


  1. Marisa Franca @ All Our way says:

    Not only do I love the shot but the drink sounds so very good! We leave near Kentucky — lots of distilleries there. Perhaps we should take some day trips — or if we really get into tasting an overnight trip :-) The name is great.

    • Nicole B. says:

      Thank you, Marisa! I’ve actually done some tours on the Bourbon trail in KY and it was great fun, I highly recommend it. Woodford Reserve was one of my favorites – great tour, great Bourbon and also great Bourbon balls. Enjoy your weekend! :)

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