Love a classic cocktail with a twist? This chai bee's knees is just for you. With its sweet honey and bright lemon, you still get the traditional flavors of this gin favorite, but a touch of chai spice gives it a unique spin for the perfect spring fling cocktail.
With the spring here, I'm ready for all the refreshing cocktails, and gin is one of my favorites when warm weather hits. Something about those floral, herbal notes calls for a beautiful spring evening on the patio. And when you pair gin with a little honey and fresh lemon juice? It's essentially spring in a coupe glass.
At the same time, we're not quite in the 90- or 100-degree temperatures of the summer, and I appreciate a little spice warmth when our warm days turn to cool nights. The chai addition brings the perfect kick to counter the evening chill.
What Is a Bee’s Knees Cocktail?
I just love that old-school cocktails have made a comeback. A bee's knees is a Prohibition-era cocktail made with a honey syrup and lemon. Rumor has it that the honey and lemon was used to mask the harsh bathtub gin smell.
Of course, we don't have to worry about that these days. Whether we use a big brand or local distillery, plenty of high-quality gins are available at our fingertips -- and thank goodness for that. This lady wouldn't have made it through Prohibition. I like a good cocktail way too much for that.
And now for the fun part -- cocktail mixing! We start by making our honey syrup. Typically, honey syrup is made by simmering honey and water, but since we're working with freshly brewed chai tea, we use that instead. We allow our chai to steep, mix with honey, and just like that, we have our chai honey syrup.
From here, we grab our cocktail shaker and add the chai honey syrup with freshly squeezed lemon, gin and ice. We pop on the top and give it a good shake and strain into our serving glasses. Easy, huh?
While a martini glass will do just fine, I love serving this bee's knees in a coupe glass. To me, the coupe glass gives an extra vintage vibe that I adore when sipping on a Prohibition-era cocktail.
Now we garnish with a lemon slice or twist -- your choice -- and kick back with our new favorite spring cocktail.
This chai gin cocktail was made for my slow-roasted blood orange salmon. The blood orange glaze includes fresh ginger, which is lovely with those chai spices, and the tart lemon perfectly complements the sweet blood orange. Trust me. You'll love the two together.
For the perfect spring cocktail, I hope you try this chai bee's knees. With the pop of citrus and warming spices, I can't think of a better cocktail for the warm days that turn into cool nights. Please let me know how you enjoyed this classic cocktail with a twist in the comment section and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter. You can also catch me on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.
Looking for More Spring Cocktails?
- Jalapeno-mango margarita
- Strawberry-basil Tom Collins
- Sparkling rosé French 75
- Strawberry mint julep
- Sparkling key lime pie martini
- Lavender bee's knees
Chai Bee’s Knees
- Small saucepan
- Cocktail shaker
- Jigger or small measuring cup
- Citrus juicer
- 1 ½ ounces brewed chai tea
- ½ ounce honey
- 2 ounces gin
- ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Lemon slice or twist for garnish, optional
- Stir together the brewed chai tea with honey until the honey dissolves. It's easier to do this while the chai tea is still warm. Allow to cool for a few minutes or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days.
- In a cocktail shaker, add the chai honey syrup, gin, lemon juice and ice. Pop on the top and shake vigorously for 15-30 seconds.
- Strain into a coupe or martini glass. Garnish with a lemon slice or twist if desired. Enjoy!
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.