The Bee’s Knees is a classic cocktail featuring gin, lemon juice and honey. This, however, is the Botanical Bee’s Knees, a modern cocktail that subs vodka for gin and adds chamomile tea.
Lest you were concerned that vodka would get lost among the flavorful mix of ingredients, fear not: The vodka is a botanical peach-and-orange-blossom-flavored expression from Ketel One, which adds a burst of fresh and juicy accents.
The Dutch company produces a few different vodkas made with real botanicals, natural fruit essences and no artificial flavors or sweeteners. “The distillation process and taste are so distinctive from flavored vodka and offer such a unique alternative to wine that [we] refer to the different variants as varietals,” says Ketel One brand director Jim Ruane. The essences and botanicals for each are distilled at the beginning of the process rather than introducing them at the end, as is done with flavored vodka, so they’re better integrated into the final product. Ruane describes the Peach & Orange Blossom vodka’s profile as “lush, juicy white peaches and bold notes of fragrant orange blossoms.”
That baseline of juicy fruit complements the chamomile tea, which lends a delicate floral quality to the honey and lemon, yielding a drink that is fresh, flavorful and a fun upgrade to the classic recipe.
You can easily make the Botanical Bee’s Knees at home by steeping some tea, letting it cool and then shaking all the ingredients with ice. Pour yourself an ice-cold drink, bask in each refreshing sip and consider making “afternoon tea” part of your daily regimen.
Add the tea. vodka, lemon juice and honey into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Strain into a large rocks glass over fresh ice.
Garnish with 2 lemon slices.
*Chamomile tea: Add 2 chamomile tea bags to 1/2 cup hot water and let steep, then remove the tea bags and allow the tea to cool to room temperature.