In celebration of Yoko's most recent honey harvest, I've come up with a simple recipe for the iconic cocktail, Bee's Knees, but with a Japanese twist of course. So we'll call it Hachee's Knees! In Japanese, hachi means bee – I can't take credit for the clever naming of this cocktail, it was all Yoko.
Frank Meier of the Ritz Carlton in Paris is credited for creating the Bee's Knees in the 1930s. What's more delightful than a drink with honey and lemon?
In my cocktail, I use Kuma Honey, Nikka Coffey Gin, and a splash of Yuzu Umeshu. The Nikka Gin is in the forefront, with its sansho-heavy aromatics, the tartness of the ume is in the backend, and the earthiness of the Kuma Honey lingers. It is a wonderful drink (and super easy to make, even on a weeknight) – I hope you can try it yourself!
1. Make honey syrup - I mix a barspoon of honey with 1oz of warm water.
2. Squeeze lemon juice. I like a regular lemon for tartness, but if you prefer a sweeter cocktail, use Meyer lemon.
3. Add honey, lemon juice, Yuzu Umeshu, and gin to the shaker.
4. Add ice to the shaker.
5. Seal the tins and give it a good 10 shakes.
I love using these Boston Shakers – the seal is so tight!
6. Unseal the tins and strain into a coupe.