The Bees Knees was one of the first gin cocktails I ever tried. Its origins are in Prohibition, and it is having another moment 100 years later. The classic version is made with gin, lemons, and honey. This Meyer Lemon and Thyme Bees Knees version is very similar but using Meyer lemons promises to make a less tart version. I’m not sure if switching the traditional lemon peel garnish with a thyme sprig will have any impact, but I’m game to find out.
This cocktail is perfect anytime, seriously. Light, refreshing and super tasty. Enjoy!
As I mentioned above, this is a classic gin cocktail. I chose my usual brand of gin, Hendrick’s since I had a bottle on hand. That left me to shop for the citrus and fresh thyme.
Meyer lemons are a hybrid of lemons and mandarin oranges. In the U.S., they are in season from November through May, but you may be able to find imported Meyer lemons year-round. I usually find them for sale by the bag as opposed to individually. A one-pound bag is around $5 in my area.
This cocktail is pretty easy to make, and I had it poured and garnished in 7 minutes. I juiced the Meyer lemons, mixed the honey syrup, added everything but the thyme to a cocktail shaker, and shook for a minute. Two Meyer lemons gave me the exact amount of juice I needed, and I had plenty leftover for garnishing.
I did have trouble with the thyme, but I think that was my fault. I tried the method listed of pinching the thyme in my fingers and running them along the stem, but I kept removing the leaves. In a moment of desperation, I decided to smash the thyme with a meat mallet instead. It worked and kept the leaves intact.
I did get picky with the lemon garnish, and that slowed things down a bit. I just had to remove the seeds from the lemon slices, and that probably added at least a minute to the total time.
I also used ice out of trays, and popping out each cube was slower than just reaching on to my freezer for a handful of ice. But I think I ended up with lovely cocktails, so I’m okay with it.