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FIG’s Bee’s Knees Riff

Bärenjäger and Drambuie bring warmth and spice to this twist on the classic.

Bar manager Ashley Dods and the bar team at FIG in Charleston originally concocted a spiced version of the German honey-flavored liqueur Bärenjäger for a wintry Hot Toddy. “We’d been creating riffs on classic cocktails as part of our cocktail list for a while, and when spring came around we wanted to bring in a more seasonally appropriate classic to lighten and brighten up that list,” says Dods. “The warm-spiced honey liqueur was a great way to put a twist on one of our favorite classic cocktails featuring honey—Bee’s Knees!” Combining Bärenjäger with a splash of Drambuie, a scotch-based spirit, the riff “really reinforces the honey and spice notes and adds a little oomph to the classic,” Dods says.


  • 2 oz. London dry gin (FIG uses Sipsmith)
  • 3⁄4 oz. spiced Bärenjäger
  • 1⁄2 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 1⁄4 oz. of Drambuie
  • Tools:shaker, strainer
  • Glass:rocks
  • Garnish:thinly sliced lemon wheel


Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice to the shaker and shake vigorously, then fine strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice and garnish with a thinly sliced lemon wheel tucked into the glass.

Spiced Bärenjäger: place a 750 ml. bottle of Bärenjäger in the freezer and chill for at least one hour. Assemble a water bath and set it to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Vacuum seal the chilled Bärenjäger, 2 cinnamon sticks, 10 cloves, 4 juniper berries, and half a star anise in a large vacuum bag. Add the sealed bag to the water bath: wait for the bath to reach 140 degrees Fahrenheit again, then cook for 2 hours. Afterward, remove the vacuum bag and place it in an ice bath to cool for 20 minutes. Strain the liqueur through a coffee filter and into a sealable container. Store the spiced liqueur refrigerated for up to 2 months.


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