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Gold Rush, a Fantastic Bourbon, Lemon, and Honey Cocktail

by | Jul 2, 2023 | 0 comments

The Gold Rush cocktail is a classic whiskey-based cocktail that originated in the United States. It is a relatively modern cocktail that gained popularity in the craft cocktail revival of the early 2000s.

Although it has no lengthy historical background like other cocktails, it has become a beloved drink among whiskey enthusiasts.

Gold Rush Cocktail Recipe

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Recipe by Carl Busch Course: BeverageCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


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Gold Rush is a fantastic 3 ingredient cocktail. Bourbon, lemon, and honey are a wonderful combination.


  • 2 oz 2 Bourbon

  • .75 oz .75 Fresh Lemon Juice

  • .75 oz .75 Honey Syrup


Recipe Video

What is in a Gold Rush?

The Gold Rush cocktail typically consists of three main ingredients: bourbon whiskey, lemon juice, and honey syrup. It is served over ice and garnished with a lemon twist or wedge.

Gold Rush Cocktail

The drink is known for its balanced, sweet and refreshing flavor profile, combining the sweetness of honey with the tartness of lemon and the rich, robust notes of bourbon.

What is the History of the Gold Rush Cocktail Recipe?

While the exact origin of the Gold Rush cocktail is unclear, it is often attributed to New York City bartender and mixologist T.J. Siegal. Siegal is known for his work at the renowned Milk & Honey cocktail bar, a prominent establishment during the cocktail renaissance in the early 2000s.

The Gold Rush cocktail is believed to have been created and popularized at Milk & Honey during this time.

When Did the Gold Rush Gain Popularity?

The Gold Rush cocktail gained wider recognition when it was featured in the influential cocktail book “The Craft of the Cocktail” by Dale DeGroff, published in 2002.

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09/26/2023 04:32 am GMT

DeGroff, often referred to as the “King of Cocktails,” included the recipe for the Gold Rush in his book, helping to introduce it to a broader audience and solidify its place among modern classic cocktails.

Since then, the Gold Rush has become a staple in many cocktail bars worldwide and is often enjoyed by whiskey enthusiasts and cocktail lovers alike.

Its simple yet flavorful combination of ingredients and smooth and balanced taste has contributed to its enduring popularity.

What Bourbon Should I Use for a Gold Rush Cocktail Recipe?

The choice of bourbon for a Gold Rush cocktail ultimately depends on personal preference, as different bourbons can impart slightly varying flavors.

Gold Rush - Old Grand 100

However, a few bourbon brands are often recommended for making a Gold Rush bourbon cocktail, due to their smoothness, balanced flavor profiles, and versatility. Here are a few popular options:

  1. Buffalo Trace

    Buffalo Trace Bourbon is a widely respected and affordable bourbon known for its rich and complex flavor profile. It has notes of vanilla, caramel, and a hint of spice, which work well in a Gold Rush cocktail.
  2. Maker’s Mark

    Maker’s Mark is a Kentucky straight bourbon with a smooth and mellow character. It offers a nice balance of sweetness and oakiness, making it a popular choice for cocktails like the Gold Rush.
  3. Woodford Reserve

    Woodford Reserve is a premium bourbon often praised for its craftsmanship and well-rounded flavor. It has a complete profile with hints of dried fruit, vanilla, and toasted oak, adding depth to the Gold Rush cocktail.
  4. Four Roses

    Four Roses are known for producing a range of bourbon expressions, each with its unique flavor profile. Their bourbons are often praised for their smoothness, and their high-rye mash bills can provide a slightly spicier note to the Gold Rush.

These are just a few examples, and numerous other excellent bourbons can work well in a Gold Rush cocktail. It’s worth exploring different brands and expressions to find the one best suits your taste preferences.

Remember, experimentation is part of the fun of crafting cocktails.

Are Their Variations of the Gold Rush Cocktail?

It’s worth noting that variations of the Gold Rush cocktail use different types of whiskey, such as rye or Tennessee whiskey, and some variations may incorporate additional ingredients or adjustments to the ratios.

However, the core elements of bourbon, fresh lemon juice alone, and honey syrup remain consistent in most renditions of the drink.

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