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How the Gold Rush Cocktail Got Its Name

Gold Rush

Since it was created over a decade ago by T.J Siegal at the Milk & Honey bar in New York's Lower East Side, the Gold Rush cocktail has become a favorite modern classic drink. The Gold Rush cocktail can be described as a sour whiskey made with honey syrup and without the use of biters and egg whites. This cocktail is very easy to make as it only requires three basic ingredients, namely; honey syrup, bourbon, and lemon juice. One notable ingredient in the Gold Rush cocktail is the honey syrup, which helps add a unique taste and sensation to the cocktail. Moreover, it is very easy to make, even for beginners, to the process. All you need to do is blend equal parts of water and honey in a saucepan, gently heat the mixture to a boil and allow it to simmer until the honey completely dissolves. You can also substitute the honey syrup with simple syrup, but make sure you shake it extra well to blend well with the drink. Read on to learn more about the well-balanced and satisfying Gold Rush Cocktail.

History of the Gold Rush Cocktail

According to, the Gold Rush cocktail was created back in the 2000s by T.J. Siegal, who was a bartender at the famous New York City's Milk & Honey bar. This modern classic drink was created at a time when numerous exceptional drinks were being invented all over the United States, as many rules were regularly broken and bartenders were experimenting with different classic ingredients. The simple combination of fresh lemon juice, bourbon, and honey syrup results in a tasty and crowd-pleasing drink that even non-whiskey fans have come to enjoy. Additionally, some people have described the sweet, bright, and tart of the Gold Rush drink as that of a chilled Hot Toddy or the "Bee's Knees" (bourbon plus gin), while others compare it to a twisted Whiskey Sour. The Gold Rush cocktail is an ideal libation that should be part of your bartending collection, especially as its recipe only requires a few basic ingredients, making it easy for beginners to memorize. Unlike the whiskey sour, which includes egg white in its recipe, the Gold Rush does not need it. Instead, it uses honey syrup, which provides it with an exceptional taste; when making your perfect Gold Rush cocktail remember to give everything in your glass a thorough shake with an ace to allow the ingredients to blend perfectly and taste much better.

How to make a gold rush cocktail

According to Simpyrecipes, below are some of the ingredients you will need when making a perfect glass of Gold Rush cocktail:

  • Rocks Glass
  • Ice
  • Lemon Juice (75 ounces)
  • Bourbon (2 ounces)
  • Honey Syrup (75 ounces)

Step 1: Honey Syrup

Since honey will not fully dissolve if you pour it directly into your cocktail, you will need to dip it in water to dissolve. When dissolving, take one-part hot water and one-part honey the stir it well for half an hour until everything is fully integrated. Once fully integrated, add approximately 75 ounces of this honey syrup to your shaker.

Step 2: Lemon Juice

For a rich, mouth-watering taste, you are advised to use fresh juice when making your Gold Rush cocktail. You will get a lemon, squeeze all the juice out, and pour around 75 ounces of the lemon juice into your shaker.

Step 3: Bourbon

The final ingredient to include when making your perfect glass of Gold Rush cocktail is bourbon. For a glass of the Gold Rush, you will need to pour around 2 ounces of bourbon into your shaker.

Step 4: Shake

Once all these ingredients are placed in your shaker, top it off with a big handful of ice. Then, give everything in your shaker a good, thorough shake for at least fifteen seconds. Check to see if everything appears slightly frothy and ice-cold. Next, pour all the shaker's contents over ice in a rocks glass and finish off with a lemon twist for a rich impeccable taste. Moreover, you can opt to look for something similar to a flowery meadow to lie down comfortably as you enjoy your perfect glass of the Gold Rush cocktail.

How do you mix a Gold Rush?

When making the Gold Rush drink, Place one large ice cube in each of the four rocks glasses. Add lemon juice and bourbon in a cocktail shaker and around half a cup of honey syrup with some ice. Shake the contents well and strain them into the rocks glasses. Finish by garnishing with the mint and serve.

What can I add to my cocktail?

In addition to the three basic ingredients, you can opt to include other simple spirits and mixers in your Gold Rush cocktail to create a burst of exciting flavors. You can add your cocktail with:

  • Cola
  • Tonic Water
  • Ginger Beer or Ginger Ale
  • Club Soda

Does the Gold Rush cocktail have any downsides?

Like most cocktails, the Gold Rush drink also comes with some weaknesses, originating from the use of one of its basic ingredients; honey syrup. Honey usually has some clinginess to the overall drink's flavor, such that even if it's well-balanced, the taste of honey is very distinctive. Although honey helps smooth out the sharp tannings, it drowns out the other ingredients resulting in a tragic flaw. The Gold Rush cocktail starts off with lemon's tartness and bourbon's oak and then ends with a wide flat honey taste that settles on the tongue all the way through. Nonetheless, some people have no problem with the honey aftertaste when enjoying their Gold Rush cocktail.

Final Thoughts

Since its invention around 20 years ago at the famous Milk & Honey in New York City, the Gold Rush cocktail has spread quickly to almost all parts of the globe. According to Seriousseats, the drink features some of the simple mind-blowing concepts that have helped broaden the idea of what an ideal cocktail should be. Moreover, the inclusion of the honey syrup helps solve the problem with egg-white Whiskey Sours by practically adding a new tasteful flavor and smoothening the astringent tannins.

Lily Wordsmith

Written by Lily Wordsmith

Lily Wordsmith is a freelance writer who has had a love affair with the written word for decades. You can find her writing blog posts and articles while sitting under a tree at the local park watching her kids play, or typing away on her tablet in line at the DMV. In addition to her freelance career, she is pursuing ebook writing with an ever-growing repertoire of witty ebooks to her name. Her diversity is boundless, and she has written about everything from astrobotany to zookeepers. Her real passions are her family, baking desserts and all things luxe.

Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith

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