Last day of being away from all the tools I have in my home bar, and last day of vacation. Overlap those two circles on the Venn diagram, and simple cocktails to explore and research become a thing of beauty. There is a general lack of ingredients, which makes creating many cocktails in the modern era difficult, if not impossible. Fortunately there are many cocktails created in the dawn of the New Age of Cocktails that show something that the bartenders of yore did: find a cocktail recipe that works and start to fiddle with it in small but subtle ways. The Gin-gin Mule shows off that thinking; there is not much more added to the cocktail, but it still transforms it into something unique.
T.J. Siegal of the currently homeless Milk and Honey (at least in NYC. Their London location is alive and kicking) created this cocktail in the early 2000's. While one would think that the combination of honey syrup, whiskey, and lemon would have been something that was discovered in the 19th century, it was not committed to writing until the 21st century. It is very similar to the Bee's Knees cocktail, substituting whiskey for gin. That is the way of invention; others may have made the cocktail or thought of it, but Mr. Siegal was the one to commit it to a menu and make it a star. And a star it is.
The Gold Rush (by T.J. Siegal at Milk and Honey)
2 oz./ 60 mL bourbon (high quality is preferred)
.75 oz./ 23 mL fresh lemon juice
.75 oz./ 23 mL honey syrup (1:1 ratio of honey to water)
Glass: Old Fashioned
Garnish: Lemon Slice (optional)
Pour all of the ingredients into a mixing tin. Add ice, then shake until the cocktail is well chilled (20-30 seconds). Pour over fresh ice into an Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with lemon slice and serve.
I love honey, and there is a difference it makes in this cocktail. The sweetness is different. The mouthfeel is a little richer. This is a bright and simple version of the whiskey sour. No eggs or bitters or anything else. Honey syrup, not honey, is key. Honey would be thicker and harder to integrate. Making it a syrup helps blend it nicely into the other ingredients. And if you are running low on ingredients, it is not difficult to make. How can you not love this cocktail?