January 10, 2023

Bee Sting Drink Recipe (A Spicy Gin and Honey Cocktail)

Spicy notes in cocktails are pretty uncommon, but when it's done well (like in the Bee Sting cocktail) it makes for a unique drink.

straining the bee sting cocktail

The kick of spicy chili honey is awesome on a crispy piece of fried chicken, but have you ever thought about having a spicy honey cocktail?

Probably not, but you can start now.

Honey and lemon paired together is no surprise, we've been drinking those in tea forever, 

measuring a jigger of gin

The Bee Sting Cocktail Recipe

A Bee Sting is made with gin, fresh lemon juice, honey syrup and a slice of muddled jalapeno pepper for a spicy kick.

There are a few entirely different recipes for a Bee Sting, but this one is nothing more than a spicy variation of the Bees Knees cocktail (which is just gin, lemon and honey syrup).

The most common Bee Sting recipe is made with: 2oz gin and 3/4oz each of honey syrup and lemon juice to balance each other out, and a slice of jalapeno is muddled in the shaker. But, there are a few tweaks you can make...

opening a bottle of ancho reyes

Make it an Ancho Reyes Cocktail

The addition of a muddled jalapeno slice is delicious, but if you want to pack even more flavor in your Bee Sting try adding some Ancho Reyes chili liqueur.

Ancho Reyes has delicious dark roasted chili flavors with a healthy kick of heat, and adding a little extra richness contrasts the bright lemon and gin nicely.

NOTE: The sweetness of the Ancho Reyes means we will need to dial back some of the honey syrup to avoid throwing things out of balance. 

So, instead of the standard 3/4 oz measure of honey syrup we will only use 1/2 oz in addition to 1/2 oz of Ancho Reyes.

Feel free to experiment with the amount of Ancho Reyes so long as the amount 

measuring honey syrup to make a bee sting cocktail

Honey Syrup

Make a batch of honey syrup. You can try it in other drinks too!

how to make honey syrup for cocktails

Add equal parts (about 1/2 cup each) water and honey to a small saucepan and place on the stove over gentle heat just until the honey dissolves.

Once cooled, store the syrup in a clean container and use it in cocktails for the next several weeks. Try using in to sweeten an Old Fashioned or classic Daiquiri!

slicing a jalapeno pepper
muddling the bee sting cocktail

The Bee Sting with tequila

You can make a delicious Bee Sting variation by swapping the gin out for tequila.

Keep the rest of the ingredients the same and let that bright peppery tequila and honey combination do its thing. Using tequila gives the drink a snappy bight compared to the more mellow and floral gin option, so try both and see what you prefer.

tequila and honey work great together

Blanco tequila will work just fine but using reposado tequila and honey together is also delicious.

Reposado tequilas are barrel aged for several months giving them rounder baking spice and honey notes that make them a perfect match for this cocktail.

a bee sting cocktail in a vintage glass

Bee Sting Cocktail

A spicy variation of the Bee's Knees cocktail with jalapeno pepper and a splash of ancho reyes if you'd like.


  • 2 oz Gin
  • 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 oz Honey Syrup
  • 1/2 oz Ancho Reyes - optional
  • 2 slices Jalapeño Pepper


  • Add all the liquid ingredients to your cocktail shaker.
  • Add two slices of jalapeno pepper to the shaker and muddle it vigorously to release the flavor.
  • Add ice and shake hard for about 10 seconds.
  • Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass.


If you are making the Bee Sting without Ancho Reyes use 3/4 oz of honey syrup instead of the 1/2 oz listed in the recipe above.
The spiciness can be adjusted by muddling in more or less jalapeño. 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Drinks
Servings: 1 drink
Tag me at @mydrinkinghobby when you make this!

Share the Sting!

Bee Sting pinterest

If you've never tried adding a little spice to your cocktails the Bee Sting could be a great introduction. The contrast between the spice and the sweet honey and lemon flavors is really delicious.

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