The Bee’s Knees was popular 1920s slang that roughly translates as the more contemporary ‘cool!’

The potent cocktail which takes its name from that saying originated at the height of Prohibition when the honey’s sweetness disguised the taste of bathtub gin.


2 ounces (50ml) gin
1 ounce (20ml) honey syrup
¾ ounce (15ml) fresh lemon juice

To make honey syrup, mix equal parts of honey and hot water; stir until dissolved. Pour the gin, syrup and juice into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes and shake. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a twist of lemon.

Or, for a slightly more elaborate recipe:

A bit of trivia: the cat’s pyjamas and the cat’s whiskers are other slang phrases with the same meaning. Cat was the colloquial term for a Flapper.