Sue Bee® Spirits

Honey-spiced drink recipes for holiday cheer

Family and friends will soon gather in homes across America to give thanks and celebrate the holidays by toasting to togetherness and good health. To assist in raising those toasts, we have collected five of our most popular drink recipes that are made with our favorite ingredient: Sue Bee® honey – including a non-alcoholic beverage that the entire family can enjoy.

Photo of a cocktail with a lemon twist.

The Bee’s Knees

The Bee’s Knees cocktail came about during prohibition in the 1920s. Because most of the homemade (and illegal) spirits of the time were harsh-tasting and made poorly – in the case of the Bee’s Knees, they used “bathtub gin” – mixing in sweet and flavorful ingredients helped hide the bitter taste of the gin. And they used honey instead of sugar as the sweetener, as well as lemon to add zest. 

The phrase “bee’s knees” means “fantastic,” and originated during a time of other silly sayings, like “the cat’s whiskers,” “the cat’s pajamas” and “the canary’s tusks.” The more you know!

Ready to try the Bee’s Knees?


2 oz gin

3/4 oz fresh lemon juice

1/2 oz Sue Bee® honey syrup

Lemon twist, for garnish

Ingredients for Honey Syrup

1/2 cup Sue Bee® honey

1/2 cup water

Directions for Honey Syrup

Add 1/2 cup Sue Bee® honey and 1/2 cup water to a small saucepan. 

Warm over medium heat. Stir until blended. Strain into a jar.

Directions for Bee’s Knees Cocktail

Add all of the ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake.

Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Garnish with lemon twist.

Photo of Sue Bee® honey and a drink with sage leaves.

Hibernating Sue Bee® Bear

Here’s a smooth, wintery cocktail that presents a perfect balance between earthy ingredients.


1 1/2 oz bourbon

3/4 oz Honey & Sage Syrup

1 orange peel

1 sprig fresh sage

Directions for cocktail

Add all ingredients to mixer with ice. Shake well and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with orange pee and sage leaf.

Honey & Sage Syrup


3/4 cup Sue Bee® honey

1 cup water

Fresh sage leaves

Directions for syrup (makes enough for three to four drinks)

In medium sauce pan, bring ingredients to a boil, then reduce hear and simmer for three minutes.

Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Photo of blackberry and rosemary sour in a cocktail glass.

Blackberry and Rosemary Sour

Looking for a new drink to add to your before-dinner cocktails? This Blackberry and Rosemary Sour, made with our Herbed Honey Simple Syrup, is a popular choice.


2 oz bourbon or whiskey

1.5 oz fresh lemon juice

1.5 oz Sue Bee® Herbed Honey Simple Syrup (see recipe below)

1/4 cup crushed fresh blackberries

1 rosemary sprig

Club soda to top

Directions for Blackberry and Rosemary Sour

Stir all ingredients together to combine, then pour into an old-fashioned glass with crushed ice.

Garnish with rosemary sprig if desired.

Herbed Honey Simple Syrup


1 cup Sue Bee® honey

1 cup water

Peel from one lemon

2–3 sprigs fresh rosemary


Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.

Stirring constantly, heat to almost a boil.

Strain, and refrigerate for up to two weeks.

Photo of mulled wine in a glass with orange garnish.

Honey Mulled Wine

Impress your guests with this fresh holiday cocktail that they’re sure to love.


1 bottle dry red wine

1/3 cup Sue Bee® honey

10 black peppercorns

10 whole cloves

3 cinnamon sticks, broken

5 grains cardamom

5 grains of paradise

1 whole star anise

1 orange, sliced

1/3 cup brandy


Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan over low heat.

Bring to a slow simmer and taste.

Add more honey if desired, and serve.

Photo of Sue Bee® honey and apple cider.

Spiced Honey Apple Cider

Fall means crisp air, beautiful colors, the sound of crunching leaves and of course, apple cider. Warm up with our Spiced Honey Apple Cider … perfect for the whole family to enjoy together!


1/4 cup Sue Bee® honey

1/2 cup water

1 tbsp lemon juice

8 whole cloves

1/2 tsp cinnamon

4 cups apple cider


In a 2-quart saucepan, combine Sue Bee® honey, water, lemon juice, cloves and cinnamon.

Bring to a boil.

Stir in cider and heat through.

Serve hot.

Categories: Honey Stories

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