March 24, 2017

Lavender Orange Bees Knees

I have this thing about red lipstick. I have tried to wear it a million times and have probably tried every single shade out there in an attempt to find the perfect one. You know, the perfectly perfect shade of red that would elevate my everyday pale-lipped existence into something, I don’t know, more glamourous, more worthy of a fancy cocktail, in a beautiful cut glass tumbler with a cherry speared in there. Maybe some ice. I don’t know.

For the record, I’ve given up on red lipstick. 

Not because I don’t still love it, because I do. It’s just whenever I put it one, regardless of whether it’s the bluest of blue reds or the brickiest of bricks, I look like a crazy person. Not like a hey I’m crazy, let’s have a good time kind of girl, but a legit, parents lock up your kids because that weird lady with the red lipstick is coming down the street and she’s gonna eat your young kind of crazy.

But even though I can’t find a red lipstick that doesn’t make me look like a lunatic, and my hands are usually cracked and speckled with paint, or mud, or lately brick dust; and even though my daily uniform consists of oversized sweats, old t-shirts, and a toque (yes, inside the house. Always. And no, I don’t know why I need to wear it, but it makes me feel safe), I still find the need to be more refined sometimes (ahem, sorry, I just choked on the irony of that). Okay, at least I like to pretend there are moments of refinement. Like when the house is quiet, the kitchen is clean, and I can relax, in front of a fire if I’m lucky, in front of Netflix, if I’m also pretty lucky. And get a little fancier than my usual microbrew.

So, I present to you:

Lavender Orange Bees Knees

Lavender Orange Bees Knees. This prohibition era drink just got pimped. Or hipstered. Whatever.

This drink. I can’t even. I’m so thrilled with it I could burst. It’s totes the bees knees. My in-laws came by the house, and I grabbed the mason jar of the goods and rammed it in their faces so they could smell it. And I was like, take a swig! And they were all like…ummmm…it’s four o’clock. But you know what? I was okay with them not wanting to shotgun my bees knees, because then I could hold my little mason jar to my chest and whisper to it: my presssssscious. It’s that good.

Bees Knees 2.0

I took a delicious prohibition era cocktail and made it swankier, orangier, and hipsterier (yes, I know that’s not a real word), with two pretty simple additions: cointreau and lavender bitters. Whoa, wait, you’ve never heard of lavender bitters???

That’s okay. Me neither. 

So I made them.

Sure did!

Turns out bitters is insanely easy to make and is totally customizable, which to my understanding means, no measuring necessary because I’ll just pretend I meant to do it even if I didn’t. And that’s my kind of recipe! Plus when you say lavender bitters, people are all like, wow, this chick is pretty worldly and probably knows her way around a cocktail shaker. Ya, let’s go with that.

(If you want to know how to make lavender bitters and impress your family and friends, check it out here.)

The best part about this cocktail is that it only looks fancy. It’s actually pretty basic. And that is one of my favourite things about it. It uses a few pantry ingredients, and some standard liquor cabinet goodies, but it’s not intimidating. You can throw one together if it’s just you, your jammies, and a stellar rom com (Ghosts of Girlfriends Past I’m talkin’ to you!), or you can bust it out for company and be a superstar mixologist.

Lavender Orange Bees Knees. Make it. Now. Seriously. Go.


This is like the ultimate swanky party. I swear, if I got invited to it, I’d even take off my toque. These peeps are making some killer cocktails, using cool ingredients and are taking boozy imagination to the next level. Check out these sweet, flowery, herbal concoctions, and while you’re at it, check out their blogs:

Dana over at KillingThyme and her Spiked Hibiscus Iced Tea

Jared from TheHesitantChef and his Hopped White Lady

Justine from JustineCelina and her Coastal Orange Blossom Gin Cocktail

Meaghan at Unassaggio and her Rose Julep

Samantha at MyKitchenLove and her Rhubarb Pisco Sour 

Sean from Diversivore and his Saffron Cava Cocktail

Taylor over at TheGirlOnBloor and her Cucumber Basil Gin Fizz

Head on over to Instagram to see previous #fbcconnectingovercocktails offerings.

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: hooray for cocktails!!

Get yo'self spring ready with this amazingly sweet and florally Lavender Orange Bees Knees!
Print Recipe
Lavender Orange Bees Knees
This cocktail is sweet and citrussy and has a lovely lavender finish. It really is the bees knees!!
Course Cocktails
Cuisine Cocktails
Prep Time 2 minutes
Course Cocktails
Cuisine Cocktails
Prep Time 2 minutes
  1. Measure and pour ingredients into martini shaker.
  2. Add a handful of ice into shaker, put lid on, and shake like a prostar.
  3. Strain into a chilled glass.
  4. Garnish with a little dried lavender.
Recipe Notes

Honey simple syrup is super easy to make. Just put equal amounts of honey and water into a saucepan and simmer on low until the honey has melted and is combined with water. You can store the mixture, in the fridge for a week or so.

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  1. My Kitchen Love - 1 year ago

    I adore this cocktail! Yes, the name is everything, but it is perfectly Spring with all the citrus and lavender. I am totally pinning this recipe and the lavender bitters because I feel like a fool as I didn’t even know that was a thing. I am allergic to Cointreau (I know it’s a horrible life over here) – any suggestions for a substitute?

    • Jen - 1 year ago

      Thanks, Samantha. What are you allergic to in the Cointreau? The beet sugar? Could you substitute another brand of triple sec? I mean, go Grand Marnier, if you’re good with cognac: the finished product won’t be as clear, but who cares, really! ha ha. A standard bees knees is gin, lemon juice and simple syrup…I read somewhere it was to mask the questionable taste of bathtub gin during the prohibition, so I don’t see why you couldn’t just make that and toss in some bitters for good luck. Plus lavender garnish makes everything look fancy. 🙂

  2. Dana - 1 year ago

    Haha, this post is life.
    I totally know what you mean about red lipstick. I’ve started to rub a clear chapstick on my lips prior to putting on a red to tone it down a few notches. Anytime I go bold with red, I feel like that stupid puppet from the SAW movies… “Wanna play a game?” Nope. Nobody wants to play that game with me.

    I love what you did here, and I love the use of lavender. It makes me want to try something with it. I’ve had some dried up lavender in my spice cupboard for over a year now and I just… I have no idea what to do with it? Like you, I’ve always been afraid of it tasting like soap. BUT CLEARLY NO. I wish I could have a glass of this right now.

    • Jen - 1 year ago

      I know right?!? Maybe one day we’ll have a glass of lavender stuff together and try on lipstick. It would be a weird Grey Gardens moment. Minus the raccoons. But still pretty good.

  3. Justine @ - 1 year ago

    Jen — this is such a lovely cocktail! And kudos for making your own lavender bitters. That’s straight up impressive! I love the combination of lavender with citrus but the elegance of this cocktail is so inspired. It seems we share a love for citrus, gin, floral flavours and natural sweeteners — cheers to that!

    And for real, if you need help picking out a red lipstick, holla at your girl! I have an entire beauty section over on the blog, and I can confidently say that I can make your red lipstick dreams come true! 😉 Feel free to email for FB message me anytime with beauty Q’s! Haha.

    It was a pleasure collaborating with you! Enjoy your weekend.

    • Jen - 1 year ago

      LOL. You know I just may take you up on that lipstick offer. (Seriously, I need all the help I can get!!) Thanks for the kind words. Love how these collabs ups my game. (And as soon as I find orange blossom water, your cocktail is being made! 😉 )

  4. My Kitchen Love - 1 year ago

    I’m allergic to anything with orange colouring or flavouring in it. Also, sadly Triple Sec. I can get a away with a touch of Grand Marnier, but it can’t be a crazy amount. It’s a sad life I’m living over here 😉

    • Jen - 1 year ago

      That’s a strange one, all right. Could be worse though! 😉 Try a little oj, simple syrup and up the gin. Or, just give up and drink some wine! haha

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