Cocktail of the Week: Gold Rush

We check in with today’s Cocktail of the Week: The Gold Rush.

imagesA man’s summertime friend. A shot made up of bourbon, lemon juice, and honey will put some hair on that bare chest of yours. Still potent, but just enough lemon and honey to make it a smooth shot. This manly drink is something like a hot toddy, but the cooler summer version. Get over that summer cold with a gold rush & make it a double!

A brief history of the Gold Rush:

The Gold Rush is a modern cocktail with a definite old-school classic vibe. With a more complex flavor than the whiskey sour on which its modeled, it is a simple combination of bourbon, lemon and honey.

It’s hard to believe that such an obvious variant of the whiskey sour is a recent discovery, but it seems the Gold Rush only goes back to around 2000. Jim Meehan (PDT COCKTAIL BOOK) credits T. J. Siegal for its original formulation, at Manhattan’sMilk and Honey.

I think of bartenders—good bartenders—as an inquisitive and experimental lot, and honey isn’t exactly a new sweetener. It seems like the honey variation surely must have been reinvented about a thousand times a year since the Civil War, but there seems to be no record of it.

But Siegel seems to be the first to have served a mix of bourbon, lemon and honey when anyone was writing it down, and that counts for a lot.

Glass: Rocks


  • 2 oz bourbon (Bulleit, Elmer T. Lee)
  • ¾ oz honey syrup (3:1)
  • ½–¾ oz fresh lemon juice
Instructions: Shake all ingredients with ice until very cold; strain into a chilled cocktail stem or rocks glass. Optionally, garnish with lemon twist or brandied cherry.

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