How to Make a Gold Rush



  • 2 oz. bourbon
  • 3/4 oz. lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz. honey


  1. Combine the ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 15 seconds.
  2. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. No need to garnish.

The Gold Rush is an easy one to make and to drink. Its spirit base is bourbon, its zest comes from lemon, and its sweetness is honey. Think of it like a Whiskey Sour with a different sweetener (and no egg white), or a Hot Toddy served cold. And who could complain about bourbon, lemon, and honey? No one, that's who! You're basically making boozy tea! Some Gold Rush recipes call for honey syrup instead of straight honey, but if you shake hard enough, the straight honey will do just fine. Chose your bourbon wisely, too, as its flavor will significantly characterize the cocktail. Go higher proof for more heat, or a solid blend that you love.

A Little Background

The Gold Rush is a newbie, which is surprising, as its name brings to mind rugged pioneers who've successfully traversed the Oregon Trail to pan for gold flecks in San Francisco before retiring to dusty saloons for a stiff drink. But no. It was invented two decades ago, in 2001, at the Manhattan cocktail stalwart Milk & Honey bar by T. J. Siegel. And though it seems remarkable that such a simple drink—three ingredients, all easily found in the home of any cocktail drinker—took so many years to be invented, its simplicity and precision make it special and lend it lasting power.

If You Like This, Try These

We said it before, so we'll say it again: The Gold Rush is a close cousin to the Whiskey Sour and the Hot Toddy in the whiskey arena. It's also a relative of the Bees Knees, which has gin, and the Honey Bee, which has rum. Might as well keep with the bee theme and try a Black Bee, too, which has bourbon, lemon, honey, and oatmeal stout beer.


Food styling by Sean Dooley
Prop styling by Emily Hirsch

This story originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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Sarah Rense
Sarah Rense is the Lifestyle Editor at Esquire, where she covers tech, food, drinks, home, and more.
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