When it comes to whiskey cocktails, there are a lot of options to choose from. The rich, brown spirit is loaded with toasted oak and vanilla flavors that work well with a wide variety of spirits and mixers. The Old Fashioned is a standby for many bourbon fans, but if you haven’t had a Gold Rush cocktail before, it just might become your new favorite.
This simple cocktail is made with bourbon, lemon juice and honey syrup, like a boozy twist on lemonade. Like simple syrup, honey syrup is made by dissolving 1 part honey in 1 part warm water. The reason that honey needs to be thinned out before being added to a cocktail is because honey, which is thick to begin with, will thicken up even more once ice is added to it. This means that if you add pure honey to your cocktail shaker, followed by ice, you’ll end up with a big blob of honey frozen to the bottom of your shaker and very little of it in your actual cocktail! Thinning out the honey allows it to blend seamlessly in with the rest of the ingredients to sweeten the cocktail.
Almost any bourbon is a good choice for this recipe, so use what you have on hand. I used Woodford Reserve here, but Maker’s Mark, Four Roses, Buffalo Trace and other brands are good options. Be sure to use fresh lemon juice for best results. I added lemon twist for garnish and to enhance the lemon flavor of the cocktail. To make a twist, simply use a vegetable peeler to remove a strip of rind from the lemon (preferably before you juice it). Squeeze the lemon strip in half, skin-side towards the cocktail, to release the lemon oils. Then simply drop the strip into the drink to serve.
2 oz bourbon
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz honey syrup*
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously until well-chilled, then strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lemon twist.
*Make honey syrup by dissolving 1 part honey in 1 part warm water. 1 oz honey + 1 oz warm water = 2 oz honey syrup. The syrup can be refrigerated for at least 1 week if you want to make a large batch.