This past weekend’s warm weather forced a brief moment of anxiety upon me as I had to contemplate the impending close of “Bourbon Season”. Saying ‘goodbye’ when I am not quite prepared is always awkward for me but eschewing bourbon for the season can be painful. When temperatures start to heat up I know I will eventually hit the seasonal “bourbon wall” (that point at which the qualities which make bourbon such a lovely fall and winter tipple prevent it from summer consideration). The unseasonable April heatwave caught me off guard
I did not want to say goodbye.
So I fought back! I went in search for a bourbon drink refreshing enough and capable of staving off what I call the Annual Great Gin Migration. (I switch to gin in the summertime.) At least for another few months or until the dead heat sets in and I actually start to crave my gin.
I found it in the Gold Rush.
The Gold Rush Cocktail
There is a lot about this drink to love. Probably because I already loved it once. It is really just a Hot Toddy but served chilled cold. I didn’t know you could do that to a toddy but you can! It is sweet (but not too sweet with my recipe), strong yet refreshing, and unmistakably bourbon. The inclusion of bourbon may keep it off most trendy summer cocktail menus but it shouldn’t. A lot of end-of-bourbon-season angst could be avoided!
I’m presenting the recipe here as one that can be easily scaled up, premixed and then stored in a mason jar in your refrigerator for future consumption. The recipe makes two but save that extra one for yourself because you will certainly want it. If you’d rather, make the honey syrup in advance to knock these out one at a time and at whatever proportions suit your guest’s fancy. Personally, I found it more refreshing to scale the honey down a bit and add the tiniest of seltzer “float’ to the top — your mileage may vary. With or without the seltzer this is a winner and the ingredient list guarantees this drink can always be at hand. Next time up I think I will try my hand at infusing lemon verbena or thyme into the honey syrup.
This is what you will need:
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons very hot water
- 4 oz bourbon (1/2 cup)
- 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- seltzer water
- lemon for garnish
This is how you make it:
- To an empty measuring glass or mason jar add the honey and hot water and stir until thoroughly mixed
- Stir in the bourbon and lemon juice
- Continue mixing until thoroughly blended
- Serve immediately or p0ut the jar into the refrigerator until you need a refreshment that only bourbon can satisfy!
- When ready add contents of jar to a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake for 1 minute
- Strain over a rocks glass filled with ice
- Float 1-2 tablespoons of seltzer water on glass (optional)
- and garnish with lemon