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Bee’s Knees, Swank Cocktail #13

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Bee's Knees Cocktail
Bee’s Knees Cocktail

Bee’s Knees is cocktail number 13 on the Swank Cocktail Guide.

Bee’s Knees cocktail history

Frank Meier, a bartender at the Ritz Hotel in Paris, created the Bee’s Knees Cocktail in the 1920s.

Meier, who also had worked at the Waldorf Astoria in New York and the Cecil Hotel in London, achieved coast to coast. notoriety in the U.S in 1933 with his recipe for a good bartender:

“A good bartender has to know everything. He’s got to know where to get things, what’s good for this and that, what to say and the exact moment to say it.”

In 1936, Frank Meier authored The Artistry of Mixing Drinks which included the Bee’s Knees cocktail recipe on page 25.

Frank Meier, The Artistry of Mixing Drinks (France : Fryam Press , 1936), 182 pages.
Frank Meier, The Artistry of Mixing Drinks (France : Fryam Press , 1936), 182 pages.

In The Artistry of Mixing Drinks, Meier marked the 37 recipes he created. In addition to the Bee’s Knees, include: Alfonso XIII, B.V.D., Blue Bird, Brain Duster, Buby, Burr, Byrrh, Cora, Crocker, Edward VIII, Elegant, Golden Clipper, Graves, Happy Honey Annie, Highbinder, London Fog, N.C.R., Olympic, Pompadour, Royal, S.S. Manhattan, S. S. Washington, Temptation, Tom Moore, Top Speed, Winter Sport, Jubilee Fizz, Nicky’s Fizz, Seapea “C.P.,” Pineapple Julep, Corpse Reviver No. 2, Fog Horn, Green Hat, Koldkure, Christmas Punch, and Christmas Punch Hot.

Frank Meier died at the age of 64 on 10 November 1947.

“Recipe for Good Bartender Given by Frank Meier,” newspaper article, Longview News-Journal (Longview, Texas), 10 Sept 1933, p. 10, col. 5.
“Recipe for Good Bartender Given by Frank Meier,” newspaper article, Longview News-Journal (Longview, Texas), 10 Sept 1933, p. 10, col. 5.
“Noted Paris Bartender’s Life Ends,” Frank Meier obituary, Fort-Worth Star-Telegram (Fort Worth, Texas), 11 Nov 1947, p. 14, col. 2.
“Noted Paris Bartender’s Life Ends,” Frank Meier obituary, Fort-Worth Star-Telegram (Fort Worth, Texas), 11 Nov 1947, p. 14, col. 2.

Bee’s Knees cocktail recipe

Bee’s Knees cocktail recipe
Bee’s Knees cocktail recipe

1 jigger Gin, 1 teaspoon Honey, juice of 1/4 Lemon. Shake well with ice and strain into glass.

Ingredients used:

  • Monkey 47 Gin
  • Pure honey from Poppa Joe’s Apiary, East Falmouth, Massachusetts
  • Fresh-squeezed lemon juice

As a note of interest, if rum is substituted for the gin, the cocktail becomes a Honeysuckle.

Bee’s Knees cocktail review

Our ratings (1-5 🍸) Rating scale

Greg: 🍸🍸🍸🍸
Kim: 🍸🍸🍸🍸

The Bee’s Knees is a perfect summer drink – crisp, bright, and refreshing.

Next up… Cocktail #14, Bénédictine Cocktail

Swank Cocktail Guide: 80 cocktails in 80 days

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