If you're looking for a drink that will satisfy both your sweet tooth and your tastebuds, look no further than the Gold Rush cocktail. This simple and effective beverage hasn't been around for too long (circa 1999), but it's having a moment in the modern era, thanks to the proliferation of whiskey and honey-infused cocktails.
Fortunately, Seir Hill offers a whiskey-alternative so you can enjoy this drink without the regret of a hangover or the risk of getting too tipsy during your next get-together. The blend of non-alcoholic whiskey and honey is potent and delicious, and it's sure to become a fan favorite no matter where you are.
A Brief History of the Gold Rush Cocktail
With a name like "Gold Rush," you might assume that this cocktail harkens back to the early days of the California gold rush of the mid-1800s. However, its origins are much more recent, having been more or less invented at the beginning of the millennium. Ironically, the person who invented it, T.J. Siegal, wasn't even a bartender at the time. Instead, he was a regular at the bar Milk and Honey, which opened in 1999.
According to the legend, Siegal used to drink a Bourbon Sour after work, except he didn't have an egg or garnish in it. Sometime in 2000, the bartender at Milk and Honey told Siegal about a honey syrup he had created for a different cocktail, and Siegal suggested he use the honey instead of regular simple syrup. A new cocktail was born, and it quickly spread around the globe. One might even say there was a bit of a gold rush to get the beverage in bars all over.
By 2002, the Gold Rush became a house cocktail at Milk and Honey, and a legend was born. The secret of its success partially lay in the honey syrup, which was a mixture of honey and water to make it more pourable and mixable. Another reason it spread so quickly was because the bartenders at Milk and Honey brought the recipe to other places they worked, and it was a success everywhere they went.
Now, making a Gold Rush with alcohol-free whiskey gives you the same flavor profile but with none of the downsides of drinking booze. This sweet and smooth mocktail is perfect for all occasions, whether you're celebrating the holidays or just want a drink to relax after a hard day.
Whiskey and Honey - A Match Made in Cocktail Heaven
In 2011, Jack Daniels unveiled their latest creation - Honey Jack. It was billed as whiskey mixed with honey, but it was technically a liqueur because of its ingredient list. Since then, honey and whiskey mixtures have become all the rage, with many other brands getting in on the act.
However, while honey cocktails are experiencing notoriety in modern times, they originate back to Prohibition days. One such drink was called the Bee's Knees, and it used gin, lemon juice, and honey. However, that's not where the term "bee's knees" comes from. Instead, it's believed that Flappers of the era started saying it, and the cocktail's name stemmed from that, not the other way around.
Honey whiskey has also dated back to the 1800s when a Scotsman named John Ross made a recipe that called for brandy, honey, and spices. However, being a true Scotsman, Ross switched the brandy for Scotch. By the 1900s, he was bottling the recipe and calling it Drambuie.
What You'll Need to Make a Gold Rush Mocktail
You don't need many tools to make this mocktail - just a cocktail shaker, a knife (to make the lemon twist), and a rocks glass. However, you can feel free to add some class to the beverage by choosing a martini glass or something similar.
You'll also have to make your own honey syrup, which is often three parts of honey to one part of water. This mixture makes the honey easier to mix, especially in a cocktail shaker.
As far as actual ingredients, this mocktail needs:
- 2 oz Mashville Whiskey Alternative
- 3/4 oz Fresh-Squeezed Lemon Juice
- 3/4 oz Honey Syrup
- Lemon Twist for Garnish
How to Make a Non-Alcoholic Gold Rush Drink
First, you should make enough of your honey syrup to satisfy the number of cocktails you'll be serving. You may also want to mix a large batch so you can make other honey-based cocktails like the Bee's Knees. Since honey doesn't spoil, you can keep the syrup on hand for months or years, but you'll have to add a little more water and stir it before using it in a mocktail.
Put all of your ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake it thoroughly. Since the honey is heavier, you need to shake a bit more vigorously than usual.
Strain the beverage into a rocks glass, and then add a lemon twist on top.
Variations on the Alcohol-Free Gold Rush Recipe
Although this mocktail is delicious in its own right, you can create some exciting variations to make it even more superb. Technically, some of these will become different mocktails with more unique names, but they're all riffing on the same basic premise - alcohol-free spirits, citrus juice, and honey.
- Use Tequila - Seir Hill offers a delectable Tequila alternative that changes the nature of the mocktail without sacrificing any flavor. By using alcohol-free Tequila, the beverage is a bit lighter on the palate, but the results of mixing with honey is unique and may become an acquired taste. In this case, lime juice might be a better alternative since that pairs well with Tequila.
- Use Rum - Biscane is a non-alcoholic rum offered by Seir Hill, and it also changes the game when making a Gold Rush cocktail. Since rum is already sweet, it pairs perfectly with honey and lemon, so you don't necessarily have to change anything about the recipe. However, orange juice and honey can be a game-changer if you're open to the alternative.
If you're looking for more whiskey mocktail recipes, check out our blog here.