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The Gold Rush cocktail is perfect for all seasons

Get to know the Gold Rush cockail

Gold Rush cocktail
Daniel Hanssen / Unsplash

There’s no wrong time of year for a classic whiskey-based cocktail. Winter, spring, summer, and fall, we love whiskey drinks during them all. We love the Manhattan, Boulevardier, Sazerac, Old Fashioned, and everything in between. But while we love historic drinks, we also enjoy the contemporary mixed drinks that have elevated cocktail culture.

One of our favorite contemporary drinks is the Gold Rush. It’s not just that it’s delicious on a warm summer night or in the depths of frigid winter; it’s also surprisingly simple to make. It’s a take on the classic whiskey sour with one ingredient swapped out for another.

The Gold Rush is made simply with bourbon, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and honey syrup (as opposed to the usual simple syrup). That being said, it’s also a take on the Bee’s Knees cocktail, as it has all the same ingredients except for bourbon instead of gin. Its complex flavor profile proves how easy it is to mix and match classic cocktails to create exciting contemporary takes.

When was the Gold Rush created?

Bourbon barrel
Katherine Conrad / Unsplash

A wildly popular cocktail, the Gold Rush was created in the early aughts at New York’s famous Milk & Honey by T.J. Siegal, friend and business partner of owner Sasha Petraske. Since the bar didn’t have a cocktail menu, Siegal decided to create his own take on the classic whiskey sour by removing the egg white and simple syrup instead of honey syrup. Thus, the Gold Rush we all know and love was created.

How to make honey syrup

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If you’re going to make a Gold Rush cocktail, you’re going to need to make honey syrup. Otherwise, if you use simple syrup, you’ll be crafting a traditional whiskey sour instead. While you mix equal parts sugar and water to make simple syrup, honey syrup is just as easy to make.

Add equal parts honey and water to a container. Stir until the two ingredients are fully combined. If you enjoy honey more than most people, you can add more honey to the combination. Just make sure the honey and water completely combine before you use it.

What does the Gold Rush cocktail taste like?

Gold Rush cocktail
Brent Hofacker / Shutterstock

The whiskey sour is known for its mixture of boozy bourbon, tart lemon, and sweet sugar. For having only three ingredients, it’s surprisingly complex. The Gold Rush is known for its boozy, corn-sweet kick of bourbon, tart, fresh lemon juice, and sweet, floral honey.

What you need to make the Gold Rush

  • 2 ounces of bourbon whiskey
  • 3/4 ounce of honey syrup
  • 3/4 ounce of freshly squeezed lemon juice

The Gold Rush recipe steps

1. Add ice to a shaker.
2. Pour the bourbon, lemon juice, and honey syrup into the shaker.
3. Shake vigorously to combine.
4. Strain it into an ice-filled rock of Old Fashioned glass.
5. Garnish with a lemon peel.

Bottom line

Bourbon bottles
Logan Weaver / @LGNWVR / Unsplash

Like with all whiskey-based cocktails, don’t go bottom shelf with your bourbon. You might think the flavors are masked with the other ingredients, but the simplicity of this drink demands a flavorful, well-made bourbon. Lucky for you, there are many in the $30 to $50 range.

Christopher Osburn
Christopher Osburn is a food and drinks writer located in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. He's been writing professional
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