The Bees Knees, a History - Aviation American Gin

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The Bees Knees, a History


As is the case with most things involving the combination of booze and history, the origin of the Bees Knees is hazy. What is known is that it was one of the few great classics to come out of Prohibition. During this time you had two options – either you had to pay a pretty penny for Mexican or Canadian spirits being illegally smuggled or turn to your own mint green kitchen range to make some harsh moonshine. Throw a little (or a lot of) juniper essence in there and you have “bathtub gin”. On a side note, this “gin” was never made or put in a bathtub as most people believe. It was only called as such because the area under the spigot of a bathtub provides more room to cut a bottle of this firewater with regular water.

Moving on, now you have this rough bathtub gin – and I’m talking rough. It needs help. Until now people are used to cocktails showcasing the main spirit – not so much anymore. The more juice or milk or syrup to cover the brash taste of the poorly made spirit the better. While it was a sad time for cocktails, there were a few glimmers of light – enter the Bee’s Knees.

I don’t know about you but lemon and honey brings me back to footed PJ’s and mom’s herbal remedies. I sometimes feigned a sore throat so that she would mix me some honey and lemon and I could lick on spoonful after spoonful of the delightful combination of sweet and sour. I’m automatically transported back to this very moment every time the first sip of an Aviation American Gin Bee’s Knees hits my tongue. There is a beautiful femininity brought on by the lavender and a sultry spice component thanks to the sarsaparilla and anise seed. Once you have discovered a Bee’s Knees made with Aviation American Gin, you won’t turn back. The complexity of the gin dances in unison with the honey and the citrus provides a balance that dries out the finish and will keep you going back for another…..and another.

Bees Knees

  • 2 oz Aviation American Gin
  • 1 oz Freshly pressed lemon juice
  • 1 oz Clover honey syrup (1 part honey : 1 part water)
  1. In a pint glass, add spirits & mixers
  2. Fill with ice
  3. Shake vigorously
  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
  5. Garnish with a lemon disc or twist

-Kiowa Bryan – Brand Supporter LA

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