Meyer Lemon Rosemary Bees Knees Cocktail

This Meyer Lemon Rosemary Bees Knees Cocktail combines gin, fresh meyer lemon juice, honey, and rosemary for a seasonal gin cocktail that is lightly sweet and tangy.

A coupe glass filled with meyer lemon rosemary gin cocktail with a fresh sprig of rosemary and sliced meyer lemons around the glass.

I love a good cocktail like this Meyer Lemon Rosemary Bees Knees Cocktail. It’s fresh and light and SO easy to make. Easier than the name is to say, I promise.

With just a few simple ingredients, you can make this easy lemon gin cocktail for parties that guests will rave over. Most of the ingredients can be prepared ahead of time, allowing you to enjoy the party as much as your guests!

What is in a Bees Knees Cocktail?

If you haven’t heard of a bees knees cocktail before, it’s a cocktail made with:
  • gin
  • lemon juice
  • honey
It’s a Prohibition-era cocktail and is served shaken and chilled.
My riff on the bees knees cocktail is a meyer lemon rosemary version that swaps out fresh lemon juice for meyer lemon juice and adds in fresh rosemary for a seasonal gin cocktail.
I love garnishing my cocktail with a sprig of fresh rosemary, but candied lemon slices on the rim would also be beautiful and delicious!

What are meyer lemons and what do they taste like?

Meyer lemons are believe to be a cross between lemons and mandarin oranges. They are a little sweeter and less acidic than a traditional lemon, though they still have subtle tart taste.
They are small and round, with a yellow-orange appearance. The peel of the meyer lemon is lightly floral and woodsy smelling.

When are meyer lemons in season?

Generally, you can find meyer lemons at your local grocery store from November to May, but the main season typically ends by March.
A cocktail shaker pouring meyer lemon gin cocktail into a coupe glass.

What is the best way to use meyer lemons?

Meyer lemons are great for recipes that you want a light touch of lemon, without the tart and acidic taste. I love using meyer lemons in baked goods and cocktails.
Meyer lemons are great in this bees knees cocktail – they lend a fresh, lemon flavor that is subtly sweet to this lemon gin cocktail!

How To Make Honey Simple Syrup

Honey Simple Syrup is very similar to regular simple syrup which is made from equal parts water and sugar. It’s great for sweetening drinks, including cocktails.
Honey simple syrup is made from equal parts water and honey. All you have to do is combine honey and water in a small saucepan and boil until the honey is dissolved into the water.
As the mixture cools, it will become thick and syrupy.
Simple syrup is preferable for sweetening cocktails and beverages because it’s in a liquid state. You wouldn’t want to add granulated sugar to a cocktail because you will be able to taste the granules and the texture would be unpleasant.
I also am not a fan of adding honey to cocktails because it is too thick and when it’s combined with cold elements, like ice, it results in a clumpy mess. However, by making it into a simple syrup first, you can sweeten your drink naturally!

How Long Does Honey Simple Syrup Last?

You can store honey simple syrup in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. It’s best kept in an airtight container, like a small glass jar.

A photo of a cocktail glass with meyer lemon rosemary bees knees gin cocktail.

Looking for more cocktail recipes for your next party? Try these!

Lemon Recipes that You’ll Go Crazy For

A coupe glass filled with meyer lemon rosemary gin cocktail with a fresh sprig of rosemary and sliced meyer lemons around the glass.

Meyer Lemon Rosemary Bees Knees Cocktail

4.50 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 1 cocktail
Calories: 224kcal
Author: Megan


For the Honey Simple Syrup:

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary

For the Cocktail:

  • 2 oz gin
  • 1 oz honey simple syrup (as made above)
  • 2 oz fresh meyer lemon juice (if using regular lemon reduce to 1 oz)
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary


For the Honey Simple Syrup:

  • Add honey and water to a small pot on the stove over medium high heat.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Let simmer for 5 minutes, or until the honey has completely dissolved. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
  • Add fresh rosemary to the saucepan and let the simple syrup cool for 30 minutes to an hour, until thick and syrupy.
  • Remove the rosemary sprigs from the pot and pour rosemary simple syrup into a glass jar.

For the Cocktail:

  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  • Add gin, honey simple syrup, and fresh meyer lemon juice to the cocktail shaker.
  • Shake well.
  • Strain into a cocktail glass or coupe glass.
  • Garnish with fresh rosemary sprig.
  • Enjoy!


Note: You will have leftover honey simple syrup. The full amount makes enough for multiple drinks. 


Calories: 224kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 18mg | Potassium: 58mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 58IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @ADashofMegnut or tag #adashofmegnut!

A photo of a meyer lemon bees knees cocktail with rosemary.

about megan

I’m Megan

A gluten-free food blogger from Chicago and lover of all things food, showing you gluten-free can be easy and delicious, too. Let’s make gluten-free stress free together! Read more…

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  1. Love this cocktail! Nice balance. Including the lemon rinds when shaking (“regal shake”) makes for a longer finish.

    For the honey syrup, I prefer to boil some water in a kettle & then weigh out the honey and water for the desired concentration. I just whisk them together rather than doing a stovetop method.

    I like 3:1 honey syrup, which is used in a number of other cocktails and works well in this one. That is, 3 oz. honey to 1 oz water. Since honey weighs 50% more than water by volume, that means the weight of the honey = 3 * 1 oz honey = 3 * 28g * 1.5 = 126 grams. So 126 g honey & 28 g (i.e. 1 oz) water, yielding of 4 oz honey syrup.

    For cocktails that call for 1:1 simple syrup (i.e. 1 part sugar to one part water), I just reduce the syrup to 1/3 of what the cocktail recipe says.

    1. Great tips, Gregory! I’m definitely going to try some of your suggestions next time.

  2. 4 stars
    Love the combination of flavors. I only had Tanqueray in the house, & I think a more herbal gin would be better. And it’s a bit too sweet for my taste, so I’m going to play with the amount of simple syrup. Nice & refreshing!

    1. Thanks for sharing, Tammy! I will have to give this a try with a more herbal gin sometime, too!

  3. I agree with the other comments: mix hot water with the honey off the stove and 3:1 is the most common ratio, you want no more than enough water to make the syrup easy to pour. I haven’t tried your recipe yet, but maybe this evening. I got my first-of-the-season bag of Meyer lemons a couple of days ago and have been trawling the web since then for recipes, and thank you for yours.

    (Simple Syrup is white sugar and water. In the US in a one-to-one ratio; in Europe in a two-to-one sugar to water ratio. If you add anything else, it isn’t simple syrup. Simple honey syrup is an oxymoron.)