The Bees Knees is one of the few cocktails that dates from the Prohibition Era (unlike most classic cocktails, which date from pre-Prohibition, when cocktails and mixology were at their peak).
Prohibition itself destroyed opportunities for bartenders to practice their craft, and the focus moved towards quick, easy-to-prepare cocktails with little emphasis on taste or structure. Luckily, the Bees Knees—a combination of gin, lemon juice, and honey—was developed, ostensibly because honey was thought to hide the smell of alcohol on one’s breath. While the Bees Knees has regained popularity in high-end mixology bars, the inclusion of gin as the base spirit can be a barrier for some people.
I recently came across Stoli Sticki, a new honey-flavored vodka from the venerable Latvian distiller, and once I tasted it, I knew that it would be perfect in an updated version of the Bees Knees.
What is interesting about Stoli Sticki is that it is a remix, if you will, of one of the first flavored vodkas ever produced, Stolichnaya Okhotnichya, a honey and herb flavor that, along with a pepper vodka, was produced in the U.S.S.R. beginning in 1962.
Stoli Sticki is a more modern take on a flavored vodka, focusing on a pure honey taste rather than adding any herbs or other flavors. The result is a light, sweet vodka with a pronounced honey flavor that makes it easy to mix. While the Bees Knees is one way to mix this vodka, Stoli Sticki and lemonade would also be an easy and delicious way to enjoy this vodka over the warm summer months.
If you enjoy the flavor of honey, pick up a bottle of Stoli Sticki ($23.99 MSRP per 750ml bottle) and have fun adding a new twist to some of your favorite cocktails.
Sticki Bees Knees
Makes 1 cocktail
- 2 oz Stoli Sticki honey flavored vodka
- 1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 oz honey syrup (honey dissolved in hot water, equal parts honey and water)
- In a cocktail shaker, add all ingredients.
- Add ice.
- Shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.