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AUTHOR: Pinhook

The Perfect Gold Rush Cocktail

The Perfect Gold Rush Cocktail

AUTHOR: Pinhook


The Perfect Gold Rush Cocktail

Deceptively simple at first glance, this drink could be mistaken for a honeyed-up version of the Whiskey Sour, or a bourbon-spiked take on the Bee’s Knees. But the Gold Rush is a cocktail all its own, created in the early aughts with the feel of a pre-Prohibition classic. It came about as bartenders began tweaking recipes, pouring newly available liqueurs, and swapping in alternate base spirits.

Gold Rush

PREP TIME: 1 min
YIELD: Single

Single Serving

2 oz.Pinhook Bourbon
1 oz.Lemon juice
.75 oz.Honey syrup
1Lemon wheel, for garnish
01Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker.
02Shake vigorously and strain over new ice in a rocks glass.
03Garnish with lemon wheel.

What's the Story Behind the Gold Rush Cocktail?

The Gold Rush is a modern cocktail that seems like an old classic, but was actually invented in the early 2000s at the celebrated–and now closed–New York cocktail bar, Milk & Honey.  A close cousin to the Whiskey Sour, this drink swaps out the traditional sour mix for a smoother blend of honey syrup. 

Why Choose Pinhook Bourbon for Your Gold Rush?

When crafting the Gold Rush cocktail, selecting the right bourbon is crucial. Our Pinhook Bourbon stands out due to its higher proof, ensuring that it maintains its robust flavor even when mixed, without becoming overly diluted by the ice in the cocktail. This characteristic enhances the drink's overall integrity and depth. 

Additionally, our Kentucky Straight Bourbon's vibrant character flawlessly complements the richness of the honey and the crisp acidity of the lemon. Unlike the standard 3/4 oz of lemon juice used in most recipes, we opt for 1 oz, believing that this extra bit achieves a superior balance among the ingredients. This careful consideration to detail makes the Gold Rush more than just a cocktail; it's an occasion in itself, offering a sophisticated and deeply satisfying taste experience.

Perfect Pairings: What Foods Complement the Gold Rush?

A versatile cocktail, the Gold Rush pairs wonderfully with a wide range of dishes. Its refreshing nature makes it a perfect companion for spicy foods, cutting through the heat and balancing the flavors. Think of enjoying it with a spicy Asian stir-fry or a fiery barbecue. For a more refined pairing, consider rich, savory dishes like roasted duck or pork loin. The sweetness of the honey in the cocktail will complement these flavors beautifully.

Best Occasions for a Gold Rush

The Gold Rush is a versatile cocktail that shines in various settings. Its elegant simplicity makes it perfect for a sophisticated dinner party or a relaxed evening at home. It's also a fantastic choice for celebratory occasions, from anniversaries to promotions, adding a touch of class to any celebration. And, of course, it's an excellent pick for a warm summer evening, offering a refreshing escape from the heat.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

To ensure your Gold Rush is as golden as intended, avoid these common pitfalls:

  • Using low-quality bourbon: The bourbon is the backbone of this drink. 

  • Overdoing the honey syrup: Balance is key. Too much syrup can overpower the bourbon and lemon, tipping the scales towards overly sweet.

  • Forgetting to shake well: Proper shaking not only chills the drink but also ensures that the honey syrup is fully incorporated, achieving a smooth texture.


  • What's the best bourbon for the Gold Rush cocktail?

  • Any quality bourbon will do, but Pinhook Kentucky Straight bourbon is often recommended.

  • Can I make a non-alcoholic version of the Gold Rush?

  • Absolutely! Replace bourbon with a non-alcoholic whiskey alternative and enjoy.

  • How do I make honey syrup?

  • Combine equal parts of honey and water. Stir until the honey dissolves completely.

  • Is there a drink similar to the Gold Rush cocktail?

  • Yes, the Bee's Knees is a cocktail that shares a similar profile, traditionally made with gin, honey syrup, and lemon juice. However, if you're seeking a variant that uses bourbon instead of gin, effectively making it akin to the Gold Rush, you're essentially looking at a bourbon-based Bee's Knees. This substitution swaps gin's botanical notes for the rich, warm depth of bourbon, blending harmoniously with the honey syrup and lemon juice to create a delightful balance of flavors.

  • How can I store leftover honey syrup?

  • Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It should last up to 2 weeks.