What Cheese Pairs Best with a Bee’s Knees Cocktail?

Quick take: Pair a Bee’s Knees cocktail with a Rocamadour cheese

Rocamadour is our top pick for pairing with the gin-based, honey-kissed Bee’s Knees cocktail

In our cheese + cocktail pairing project, I combine my cocktail know-how with the encyclopedic cheese knowledge of Jennifer Greco of Chez Loulou for a series of classic cocktail and cheese pairings.

Spring is nearly here, so this month we are pairing a classic cocktail that is fun, light and refreshing with a touch of honey: the Bee’s Knees.

Bee’s Knees is a cocktail made with only 3 ingredients: gin, honey syrup & lemon

March Pairing: Bee’s Knees cocktail with Rocamadour cheese

Tips, Tricks & Lessons learned:

  • We chose the Rocamadour as the best pairing for the Bee’s Knees because basically the cheese really made the cocktail pop and it was a multilayered tasting experience. After tasting the cheese, the first sip of the cocktail was great – then the cheese disappears until reappearing with length and heightening the overall ‘zing’ of the combo. Putting these two together was like adding salt to a dish, giving just the necessary oomf to the flavour of each, both separately and together.
  • In addition to the Rocamadour, the following cheeses also work in a pairing: Petit Gaugry and Bouton de Culotte.
  • If you’re looking to stretch the pairing experience a little two other interesting choices were the Saint-Marcellin (the cocktail gets lost a little, but the pairing really smooths out any acidity in the cocktail and highlights the honey) and the 2 year old Comté (also smoothed out the acidity and highlighted the sweetness of the cocktail)
  • This drink should work really well with chèvre, which makes sense as citrus and/or honey can be a natural pairing. And, contrary to what we were expecting before the tasting, it is particularly off-putting with bleu chese.
  • It’s interesting and surprising how each different cheese really changes the perception of the citrus in this particular cocktail.
  • Many people like a American style gin with floral notes in their Bees Knees cocktail (flowers + honey). I prefer a straight forward London dry, so we went with Beefeater gin for an interesting contract of juniper and honey.
  • Some older recipes call for proportions of 2:1:1 for the gin, lemon juice and honey syrup, while newer ones skew towards the taste for something more tart with a 2:1:.75 for the gin, lemon juice and honey syrup. In general I prefer the latter, but did add just a little tiny extra drop of the honey syrup thinking it might play nicely with the cheese. 
  • This is a cocktail recipe that lends itself to playing around with the three simple ingredients and allowing different elements to shine through: play around with different gins or different kinds of honey in the drink and you’ll discover some fun (and hopefully tasty different flavor combinations.
  • I strain my lemon juice before measuring and adding it to the shaker (rather than double straining the cocktail at the end) because it makes a more accurate and better balanced finished product.
You can change up a Bee’s Knees cocktail by playing with different gin or honey

Bees Knees Cocktail recipe

60 ml gin (we used Beefeater)
30 ml fresh squeezed lemon juice
25 ml Honey Syrup*

Shake all ingredients with ice 
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass

*Honey syrup is equal parts water and honey. I pour the honey into a clean jar and put in the microwave or a bowl of hot water long enough to let it soften, to make it easy to mix with the water when added. Try and find a jar with a lid and straight sides so you can easily eyeball the 50/50 of honey and water, put the lid on and shake to combine.

Look at all those lovely cheeses we paired up with the Bee’s Knees cocktail

If you’re here, I already know you like cocktails. But, if you want to learn more about these or other cheeses, I recommend some time on Jennifer’s blog and Instagram or signing up for one of her cheese workshops with Paris by Mouth.

We thought the Bee’s Knees might work well with bleu, but not so much…

Up next: What Cheese to Pair with an Amaretto Sour cocktail

About Forest Collins 369 Articles
Cocktail Expert Forest Collins is the creator of 52martinis, an online guide to the best cocktail bars in Paris and other small batch spirits news from France. We've also recently launched an app so you can keep all that bar info in your pocket!