Bee Sting Drink Recipe for a Spicy Buzz

Published June 23, 2022
Citrus cocktail in a martini glass


  • 2 ounces tequila
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ ounce honey syrup
  • ½ ounce chili liqueur
  • Ice
  • Lemon twist for garnish, optional


  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, tequila, lemon juice, honey syrup, and chili liqueur.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with lemon twist, if desired.

Bee Sting Drink Variations and Substitutions

Like any recipe, you can modify your bee sting drink to suit your taste buds or simply to try a different riff.

  • Instead of tequila, more closely mirror a bee's knees by using gin. Any style of gin, from dry to genever, works well.
  • For a smokier flavor, use mezcal in place of the tequila.
  • If you want a more pronounced lemon flavor, easily infuse your tequila with lemon.
  • Give your cocktail a boozier kick using honey liqueur instead of honey syrup.
  • Sweeten your bee sting by adding a splash or two of simple syrup.

Garnishes for the Bee Sting Cocktail

You can stick with the lemon twist garnish, and you can spice it up or even make it a little sweeter.

  • Use a lemon wheel or slice for a more robust citrus lemon flavor.
  • Drizzle some honey along the rim for a sweet garnish, or add a small drop to the bottom of the martini glass.
  • Alternatively, run a lemon wedge along the rim of the glass and dip the rim into sugar for a sweet rim garnish. Add a dash of tajin or chili powder for a spicy and sweet flavor.
  • Carefully garnish with a small dehydrated chili, using a cocktail clip to pin to the outside of the glass on the rim.

About the Bee Sting Mixed Drink

The bee sting may look a bit familiar to you, as it's a riff on the honey-forward bee's knees cocktail. Instead of tequila and spice, the original cocktail uses gin and omits the spicy chili liqueur for a soft and sweet cocktail with just the right amount of sour. However, the world is pretty split on the bee sting's base spirit. Some recipes call for gin to mirror its parent cocktail more closely, while others use a honey liqueur paired with scotch as its base. Whatever way you go with it, have no fear-- you're still crafting a bee sting. And if you haven't figured it out, the sting comes from the burning bite of the spicy chili liqueur-- so don't skip that crucial step!

A Buzzworthy Drink

Embrace the fiery sting of the bee sting drink. With its sweet syrup flavors balanced by the spiced chili liqueur, it's sure to be a hit with not only your tastebuds, but anyone you happen to offer a sip. The sharing is entirely optional, though, and it's understandable if you want to keep it all to yourself.

Bee Sting Drink Recipe for a Spicy Buzz