Cocktails: The Gold Rush

Living in the Midwest, it’s not uncommon to see one last round of snow in late March or early April every year beforeSpring decides it’s ready to kick it into full force. Sure enough, this year we’ve been treated to a pretty regular cycle 2-3 warm and sunny days followed by about a week of mid-40s gloominess. The occasional snow and sub-30 degree temperatures throughout April led me to get all the mileage I could out of my favorite winter cocktails like the Irish Coffee and Hot Toddy. Now that we’re well into May and finally safe to put those gloves and scarves away for the year (knock on wood), I’m beyond ready to replace those with my favorite Spring and Summer cocktails. One drink that I find myself in the mood for fairly often this time of year, when it’s just warm enough to sit outside and enjoy the sights and smells of nature coming back to life, is the Gold Rush.

While the Gold Rush shares the same ingredients as the Hot Toddy, a cocktail as old as they come, this warm weather sibling is more of a modern creation than you might expect. It can be traced back to New York’s Milk & Honey, where bartender T.J. Siegal created it in the mid-2000s. The drink is also quite similar to a whiskey sour; however, the honey syrup used here in place of simple syrup gives it a refreshing spring touch.

To make the honey syrup, combine 2 parts honey with 1 part boiling water and stir until fully dissolved. Store until the fridge until cool and use within 5 days. While any honey will work just fine, farmer’s markets and organic grocery stores often have different types of honey that can add a bit of nuance to the profile – I’m a big fan of Rosemary Honey as it’s a bit sweeter than the standard “bear bottle” honey on your everyday supermarket shelf. Since the honey syrup can be a little difficult to dissolve when cold, be sure to give this one a little longer of a shake than you’re used to.


Making the Drink



  • 2 oz Bourbon

  • ¾ oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

  • ¾ oz Honey Syrup



  1. Combine all ingredients and shake vigorously with ice for at least 10 seconds to make sure the honey fully dissolves.
  2. Strain into an old-fashioned glass with a large ice cube or sphere.
  3. Garnish with a lemon wheel



Blake Smith


Jordan GrigsbyComment