the bee’s knees
Apparently signature cocktails at weddings are in. Or so I’m told. Long before I had a wedding to plan, I thought that having a his-and-her cocktails at a wedding would be a really fun idea. No, I’m not calling myself a trail blazer by any means, and I suppose it does go against me saying I never planned my own wedding. I suppose that the part of me that loves feeding people planned a portion of it. But that’s about as far as I got with the wedding dreaming.
If someone ever asked me what my dream wedding would be, I always said, that I’d want for it to be outside. I’d want a cookout with pulled pork sandwiches, corn on the cob, lobsters, and potato salad. I’d want strawberry shortcake. I’d want a bluegrass band. And I’d want some bourbon.
Well, you can’t really get away with pulled pork sandwiches and lobster at a Jewish wedding, but we are going to Maine for our mini-moon, so lobster population of New England, I’d better watch out if I were you. Andrew and I are coming, and we’re coming hungry.
Of course, what I didn’t think about is the drink of choice for my future husband. I just assumed that we’d be drinking bourbon together. And it just so happens that Andrew’s spirit of choice is gin.
So when we were talking about having signature drinks at the wedding, we wanted something a bit more fun than a predictable gin and tonic. We wanted a drink that felt exuberant and a little mischievous. Then I remembered a popular Prohibition-era drink called the Bee’s Knees (or is it Bees’ Knees? How many bees are we talking about here?) Made, at the time, with bathtub gin, the cocktail was aided by lemon juice and honey to mask the strong smell of liquor – sneaky. It felt mischievous enough for us.
I’ll fess up now and tell you that we aren’t using bathtub gin to make cocktails for our wedding guests. As clean as we keep our tub, we couldn’t make gin there even if we wanted to. Not that we want to. But if we did, we’d be hard-pressed to be able to use our own tub as it’s currently missing a stopper. Our super was going to replace it, but I think he’s long forgotten about it. Not that 6 inches of bathtub height allows for that much gin to be made in it. It hardly constitutes a pleasant bath; and feels more like I’ve sat in a puddle, than slipped into something relaxing and luxurious. Also, I didn’t get the memo on this, but word is, Prohibition’s long gone and we can freely purchase and consume all kinds of libations. Hooray!
Which is exactly what we’ll be doing come June 16th, albeit sans pulled pork sandwiches and steaming real lobsters. Still, I can’t wait.
The Bee’s Knees
2 ounces (1/4 cup) gin
1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) fresh lemon juice
1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) honey syrup
Combine gin, lemon juice, and the honey syrup in a cocktail shaker. Stir to dissolve the syrup. Fill the shaker with ice and stir for 10 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and serve. If you like, you may add an ice cube or two – drinks get warm awfully fast in the summer, and there’s something gross about a warm(ed) cocktail, in my opinion.
Makes 1 cocktail.