A Gold Rush is not particularly complicated, as cocktails go. It is basically a whiskey sour but with honey replacing the sugar. It is made with a honey syrup with bourbon and lemon, so you could also describe it as a Bee’s Knees but made with Kentucky bourbon instead of gin. It definitely holds its own as a great drink because of the combination of honey and whiskey. This provides a delicious flavor and texture to the drink.
The Gold Rush Cocktail
This beverage was developed at the famous New York City bar, Milk and Honey. Although it was only invented in the early 2000s, it has become so popular across the globe that people assume it is a traditional cocktail that pre-dates the Prohibition era. It was created at a time when American bartenders were creating new classics by experimenting with new twists on old recipes.
The creative minds behind the bar were making use of new styles of liqueurs, the base spirits were mixed and matched and the cocktail rule book was thrown out of the window. Along with our bourbon-based cocktail, the team at Milk & Honey also created the Penicillin, which is a similar drink but made with Scotch.
To make this drink, choose your bourbon carefully. Too little age and it will not have enough complexity. Too much, and it may overpower the drink with too much oak flavor. Try to find something between four and eight years of old to find the sweet spot. Don’t use straight honey in the cocktail, take the time to make a honey syrup instead. This is the same as a simple syrup but just substituting the sugar with honey.
We recommend one part honey to one part water, or you can use a slightly higher proportion of honey for more texture and richness. Using a syrup allows the flavor to be better amalgamated into the final drink. Cut through the richness and sweetness by using freshly squeezed lemon juice and bringing the whole beverage into balance.
A lot of whiskey sour recipes include egg white, but this one doesn’t because the honey is bringing the mouthfeel that you are looking for. When you make the cocktail ensure you shake it well to incorporate everything fully, before straining into the serving glass. When you try it you won’t look back. This is a simple recipe that brings a beautiful cohesion of flavors and textures to the party.
Gold Rush Cocktail
- 2 Oz Bourbon
- 1 Oz Honey Syrup
- ¾ Oz Lemon Juice
- 1 Lemon Wheel Garnish
- Make your honey syrup by combining one part water to one part honey
- Increase the proportion of honey if you want more body
- Put the bourbon into a cocktail shaker along with the honey syrup and fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- Shake well
- Strain into a chilled rocks glass which contains one single large ice cube
- Garnish with a thin twist of lemon peel or lemon wedge
A modern classic in every sense of the word, this is an incredible drink because of the beautiful balance of flavors that is created.