Nothing is Written in Stone - Bee’s Knees Cocktail with Lavender

It is important to understand that recipes aren’t written in stone. Within certain limits, you should feel free to make adjustments, modifications, and clarifications when necessary. The “original” recipe for the sidecar listed it as equal parts of cognac, Cointreau, and lemon juice, but rarely will you find it actually made that way today. It can also sometimes be necessary to change the measurement of an ingredient based on the products you are using. The flavor intensity of sweet vermouth can change sometimes dramatically from one producer to another. If you use the same measurements for your Manhattans, one vermouth might be great, but the other fairly unbalanced. You may also find sometimes that a recipe will call for a particular brand. Sometimes a branded drink recipe will be based on the mixologists fine-tuning of the recipe and listing the branded ingredients they feel work best (and/or what they specifically use in their bar to make the drink), as I do with the “Bee’s Knees” in listing Beefeater Gin. There are times however, when a mixologist is listing a particular brand in a recipe because the brand was involved somehow in the formulation or presentation of the recipe.

The process of fine-tuning a recipe can be a little time consuming. It typically will consist of mixing up the drink using several different ratios in order to attempt to “dial in” the overall recipe that you think works the best, and then you want to try several different brands in order to see how much of a difference it makes, and which one works the best here.

When you update/modify a recipe, there is a fine line you may find yourself walking in regard to how much of a modification you can make before you turn the drink into something “different”. My general rule of thumb is that if somebody intimately familiar with the “original” version were to order it, and felt the drink you served them was not quite what they ordered, then you went too far.

Re-examine some of your favorite recipes and try to see how to fine tune them by identifying the best brands to use, adjusting the ratios and perhaps identifying the garnish that sets it off perfectly.


2 oz Gin

3/4 oz fresh lemon juice

3/4 oz honey syrup

one lavender blossom


Add all ingredients to your mixing tin.

Muddle gently.

Add ice and shake to combine, chill and dilute.

Double strain into a chilled cocktail coupe.

Garnish with a lavender blossom.


There are not any comments yet. Start the discussion below!

Post a Comment

You must be registered and logged in to post comments.

Login to Comment register new account

remember me