I know, I know… so the critics aren’t loving it. But I went ahead and bought my pair of tickets for The Great Gatsby this weekend anyway! Much like Gatsby himself, when Baz Luhrmann invites you to a party, you show up. We may not know exactly what we’re getting ourselves into, but we can pretty much count on stunning costumes, amazing visuals and a killer soundtrack to boot. Hit or flop, we’re celebrating this afternoon with a classic prohibition-era cocktail, the Bee’s Knees. A gin-based drink with hints of honey and lemon, this little speakeasy specialty is light and easy. We served them up in a few art-deco inspired glasses and garnished each with a single orange wedge. Now, if only we could plan an entire party around this theme…

*inspiration for this recipe taken from Jeffrey Morgenthaler.com

The Bee’s Knees


  • three lemons
  • one ounce local honey
  • two ounces Hendrick’s gin
  • one cup ice
  • one orange


First, you’ll create a simple syrup with the honey. Combine equal parts honey and boiling water. Stir well. Jar and refrigerate the syrup. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine one ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice, one ounce of your honey simple syrup, and two ounces of gin. Shake well and strain into a glass of fresh ice. Garnish with one orange wedge.

*photos by Jennifer Rose Smith for Camille Styles

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Comments (22)
  1. 1
    Quinn Cooper May 10, 2013 at 6:43 am

    This cocktail looks amazing!
    I too want to see The Great Gatsby, even if everyone says it’s bad.
    Like you I want to get swooped up by the visuals and the music.
    I mean who doesn’t love the 20s.
    Thanks for the inspiration!
    xo Quinn

    Quinn Cooper Style

    • Jennifer Rose Smith May 10, 2013 at 8:25 am

      Thanks, Quinn! I thought I “didn’t like gin” until I tried this drink. The honey is a nice offset to the gin flavor. Going to see the movie tomorrow night. Remaining “cautiously optimistic.”

  2. 2
    diane smith May 10, 2013 at 8:03 am

    What a fun name for a beverage…”THE BEE’S KNEES”…love it! If that does not get you in
    the mood to see The Great Gatsby, I do not know what would. The perfect drink for a 20’s
    theme party. I might even have to dust off my old flapper costume! Wonderful ideas. Thanks!

    • Jennifer Rose Smith May 10, 2013 at 8:26 am

      Thanks, D! Wouldn’t it be fun to host a Gatsby-themed party? Any excuse to wear the flapper costume, right? 🙂

  3. 3
    kelsey May 10, 2013 at 8:54 am

    gorgeous! that looks delicious
    kw Ladies in Navy

    • Jennifer Rose Smith May 10, 2013 at 10:07 am

      Thanks, Kelsey!

  4. 4
    thejunkdrunk May 10, 2013 at 10:09 am

    I’m so glad everyone is into Bee’s Knees now. I remember looking few years ago, and I was hard-pressed to find a good recipe on the internet! Nice touch with the local honey too – given that it’s allergy season and local honey is supposed to help.
    My version uses a honey simple syrup along with lavender and rosemary
    Can’t wait to see Gatsby tomorrow too. I’m sure the critics are wrong and it will be stunning.

    • Jennifer Rose Smith May 10, 2013 at 10:29 am

      Thanks for sharing your version with us! I think that could be a great addition to this drink recipe. Looks pretty, too!

  5. 5
    Zoë May 10, 2013 at 11:16 am

    You had me at lemon – I can’t wait to try this drink! And I can’t wait to see Gatsby – critics be damned.

    • Jennifer Rose Smith May 10, 2013 at 3:51 pm

      Thanks, Zoe!

  6. 6
    TurningOveraNewLeith May 10, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Gatsby-fever has not reached Edinburgh, so I am happy to live vicariously through U.S. blogs as I wait for it to catch on here… fingers crossed. Cheers and have a fabulous weekend.

    • Jennifer Rose Smith May 10, 2013 at 3:55 pm

      We love connecting with our readers from other countries. I’ve always wanted to visit Edinburgh. Someday! I hope the movie comes to Scotland soon. Cheers!

  7. 7
    Ashley @ Any Lovely Thing May 10, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    Your photos are so beautiful! The Bee’s Knees is my current summer favorite. I shared my take on the drink a few weeks ago and have been dreaming about it since. I’ve included the link below if you’re interested.

    Happy Friday,

    • Ashley @ Any Lovely Thing May 10, 2013 at 1:00 pm

      Also, I too am over the moon excited to see The Great Gatsby this weekend!


    • Jennifer Rose Smith May 10, 2013 at 3:57 pm

      Thanks, Ashley! Your version looks terrific. And I love the glasses you used — almost honeycomb-like. So cute!

  8. 8
    Jess Simpson May 11, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    This has my name written ALL over it. I’m not much for replicating complicated cocktails at home… so this one perfectly suits my preferences! Can’t wait to give it a try! 🙂

    • Jennifer Rose Smith May 12, 2013 at 10:05 am

      Yes, I’m not for complicated drinks, either. This one is really easy and fun!

  9. 9
    madscar June 20, 2013 at 4:17 am

    Uau this is amazing:) I love it!