Bee Sting Cocktail Recipe

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Bee Sting Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Bee Sting cocktail is a modern classic that was created by Sam Ross, a famous bartender from New York. It's a twist on the classic Gold Rush cocktail, but with a spicy kick from the addition of jalapeno. This cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy a balance of sweet, sour, and spicy flavors.

How Bee Sting Tastes?

The Bee Sting cocktail is a delightful blend of sweet, sour, and spicy. The honey syrup provides a smooth sweetness, the lemon juice adds a refreshing tang, and the jalapeno gives it a surprising kick. It's a full-bodied cocktail with a complex flavor profile.

Interesting facts about Bee Sting

  • The Bee Sting cocktail is a twist on the classic Gold Rush cocktail.
  • It was created by Sam Ross, a famous bartender from New York.
  • The cocktail gets its name from the combination of honey (bee) and jalapeno (sting).



Using 2oz of bourbon provides a robust foundation for the cocktail, offering vanilla and oak notes that marry well with sweet and spicy elements. Less bourbon, and you might lose the spirit's warm presence; more, and you could overwhelm the delicate balance.

Alex Green

Honey Syrup

At 0.75oz, honey syrup sweetens and smoothens the drink, acting as a bridge between the tangy lemon and spicy jalapeño. Less syrup, and the drink may be too tart; more, and it may become cloyingly sweet. Maple syrup could be an intriguing alternative for a different kind of sweetness.

Emma Rose

Lemon Juice

0.75oz of lemon juice adds a necessary citrus zing that cuts through the richness of the bourbon and sweetness of the honey, balancing the cocktail. Less lemon and the cocktail might be too sweet; more and it could become too sour. Lime juice could be used for a sharper citrus note.

Mary Mitkina


A single slice of jalapeño adds a spicy kick that defines the cocktail's character—a 'sting' if you will. Without it, you'll miss the contrast that gives the Bee Sting its name. A speck of cayenne or a dash of hot sauce could be used if you want a different kind of heat.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Bee Sting Drink

  1. Muddle the jalapeno slice in a shaker.
  2. Add the bourbon, honey syrup, and lemon juice.
  3. Fill the shaker with ice and shake until well chilled.
  4. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice.
  5. Garnish with a jalapeno slice.

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh lemon juice for the best flavor.
  • Adjust the amount of jalapeno to your taste.
  • Shake the cocktail vigorously to ensure all the ingredients are well mixed.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Grilled Meats: The smoky character of bourbon and the spice from the jalapeno will complement the charred flavors of grilled steak or pork chops.
  • Barbecue Dishes: Sticky, sweet, and often spicy, barbecue dishes are a natural fit with the Bee Sting's flavor profile.
  • Mexican Cuisine: Think tacos or something with a bit of heat; the cocktail's honey will balance the spiciness of the food.
  • Cheese: Aged cheddar or gouda can stand up to the bold flavors and provide a nice textural contrast.

Drink Pairings

  • Cold Brew Coffee: The bitterness of the coffee might play well against the sweet and spicy Bee Sting.
  • IPA Beer: The hoppy bitterness would make a nice counterpoint to the cocktail's sweetness and heat.

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What you could change in Bee Sting

  • Bourbon can be substituted with any other whiskey.
  • Honey syrup can be substituted with agave syrup or simple syrup.
  • Lemon juice can be substituted with lime juice.

Explore all drinks starting with B here

And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Sting

  • Switch bourbon for mezcal to infuse the cocktail with a smoky complexity.
  • Replace honey syrup with agave syrup to complement the mezcal.
  • This twist will have a smokier profile, appealing to those who enjoy a bolder, earthier drink.

Sweet Heat

  • Add a 1oz of pineapple juice for a tropical sweetness.
  • Infuse the honey syrup with cinnamon for extra spice.
  • This version is for sweet tooths who also crave a spicy kick, connecting tropical and traditional flavors.

Green Hornet

  • Muddle a few cilantro leaves with the jalapeño.
  • Add a splash of soda water for effervescence.
  • This twist adds herbaceous notes and a refreshing fizz, perfect for a summer day refreshment or as an accompaniment to a zesty salad.

In case you forgot basics how to make Bee Sting

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

The key to proper muddling is to crush the ingredients just enough to release their flavors and not overdo it. Over-muddling can result in a bitter taste, especially with herbs.

Learn everything on how to muddle

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Bee Sting

Can I make the Honey Syrup at home?

Yes, honey syrup can be made at home by combining equal parts of honey and water and heating them until they are combined. Let it cool before using.

What can I pair with the Bee Sting cocktail?

This cocktail pairs well with food that complements its sweet, sour, and spicy flavor profile. For instance, it can go well with grilled chicken or fish, salads, or spicy snacks.

How can I make this cocktail if I don't have a shaker?

A shaker is recommended for this cocktail, but you can equally use a mixing glass. Just ensure to mix the ingredients well before straining.

Can I use a different type of chili?

Yes, you can use any other type of chili that suits your taste. However, each chili will bring its unique flavor and heat level to the cocktail.

Why do I need to muddle the jalapeno?

Muddling the jalapeno helps to release its juice and flavor into the cocktail, which contributes to its unique spicy taste.

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