Gold Rush Cocktail
Gold Rush Cocktail

Grab some bourbon, honey, and lemon juice and enjoy this refreshing and easy-to-make cocktail all summer long!

Bourbon is typically thought of as a cold-weather spirit, but this classic bourbon, honey syrup, and lemon shake is one of my favorite ways to enjoy it all summer into fall.

What is a Gold Rush Cocktail and what’s in it?

A Gold Rush is a simple whiskey-based cocktail created by TJ Siegel at the now-defunct New York bar Milk & Honey in the mid-2000s.

The cocktail is essentially a twist on a classic whiskey sour, made with a whiskey, be it bourbon, rye, or even scotch, along with lemon juice, simple syrup, egg white, and a dash of angostura bitters.

A Gold Rush is a stripped-down version that only requires three ingredients: bourbon whiskey, honey, and lemon juice. The cocktail became a hit at the bar almost immediately and has since become a modern classic.

How to make a gold rush cocktail

The recipe for the cocktail begins with making a honey syrup, which is simply honey heated with water so that it melts and becomes liquid.

While you may be tempted to add honey straight into the cocktail shaker, this extra step is important as honey thickens when it comes into contact with ice, so you need to be sure it will dissolve seamlessly into your cocktail. Making a syrup solves this problem.

After the honey syrup is made, add some to a cocktail shaker filled with ice along with the bourbon and lemon juice. The ingredients are shaken until well cooled and then poured into a glass filled with ice.

What Type of Whiskey Should I Use?

Bourbon is a classic choice for a gold rush because its sweet, caramel-like flavor and full-bodied mouthfeel pair so well with honey and tangy lemon. However, if you feel like experimenting, try this cocktail made with rye, which adds a spicy, peppery note to every sip.

For bourbon, my favorite is Bulleit, but Four Roses and Knob Creek are also solid, budget-friendly choices. If you try this cocktail with rye, Redemption is my favorite.

The best glassware for a gold rush

A rock glass, also known as old-fashioned glass, is the glass of choice for a gold rush. This allows the cocktail to sit easily on ice, which also makes sipping easier.

Cocktail garnish options

A simple zest or slice of lemon are classic garnishes. Both allude to the bright bursting of lemon juice in the glass.

I often skip them when pulling together a quick happy hour on the couch for my husband, but I love adding either one when I shake that cocktail for friends.

How to Scale a Gold Rush

The recipe for this cocktail is enough for one person, but it is easy to expand if necessary. Simply double or quadruple the cocktail ingredients and shake together in a shaker filled with ice.

Depending on the size of your cocktail shaker, you may need to split anything larger than a duplicate recipe into two batches.

What to do with leftover honey syrup?

Although this recipe only makes one cocktail, you actually have enough homemade honey syrup to make about eight cocktails.

That means you don’t have to make extra syrup when doubling or quadrupling the recipe. Store the leftover honey syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

It has a shelf life of up to a full month and can be used to make another batch of Gold Rush as well as other great cocktails like Bee’s Knees or Penicillin. Or try it to sweeten lemonade or iced tea!

Gold Rush Cocktail

preparation time
5 minutes

cooking time
2 minutes

total time
7 minutes

1 serving

1 cocktail


For the honey syrup

  • 1/4 Cup honey

  • 1/4 Cup water

For the cocktail

  • 2 ounces bourbon

  • 3/4 ounce Freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1/2 ounce honey syrup

  • Lemon peel or cut into slices, e.g garnishOptional


  1. Make the honey syrup:

    In a small saucepan over medium heat add the honey and water. Simmer gently over medium-high heat, stirring, until honey and water are completely and homogeneously combined, about 2 minutes. Remove from the stove and let cool for 5 minutes.

    Store leftover honey syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

  2. Make the cocktail:

    Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add bourbon, lemon juice, and 1/2 ounce honey syrup. Cover and shake vigorously until very cold, about 15 seconds.

  3. Strain, garnish and serve the cocktail:

    Strain into a Rocks glass filled with ice and garnish with a lemon wedge, if desired.

nutritional information (per serving)
165 calories
0g Fat
10g carbohydrates
0g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!