Gold Rush Cocktail With a Rosemary Twist

5 from 1 vote
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Gold Rush Cocktail With a Rosemary Twist

I was craving a bee’s knees last night and per usual I was all out of GIN. I phenomenon not infrequent in this household. I use it in so many cocktails you’d think I’d learn by now to stock up. Instead, I had to improvise and use whiskey instead. I ended up basically making a whiskey bee’s knees or the gold rush cocktail with a few twists.

The gold rush cocktail is a simple classic made with whiskey, honey syrup (water and honey), and fresh lemon juice. Nearly a whiskey clone of the classic bee’s knees cocktail. It’s a solid imbibe but misses some of the natural botanicals that gin adds to a bee’s knees—making it a bit more complex and interesting.

Rosemary and Applejack Brandy

I decided to spice up the gold rush with fresh rosemary and Applejack brandy—a flavored brandy with notes of apple and cinnamon. Paired with fresh rosemary, my gold rush is a refreshing cocktail with fall vibes.

The Applejack adds a nice touch, but you can skip it if you don’t want or have any on hand. I will say though it’s an awesome spirit to add to an old fashioned along with several other whiskey cocktails.

There is no substitute for fresh rosemary. Do NOT try to use any dried spice of any sort in your pantry.

Serve up or on the Rocks

Traditionally the gold rush is served on the rocks or with a giant ice cube, but I’m opting for up in a chilled coupe. This is totally bartender’s choice but it’s a smooth enough cocktail that doesn’t need to steep in ice. Don’t forget to freeze your glass for a little extra chill. here are a few other tips for making better cocktails at home.

Gold Rush Cocktail With a Rosemary Twist

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Gold Rush Cocktail With a Rosemary Twist
5 from 1 vote

Gold Rush Cocktail With a Rosemary Twist

Servings: 1 cocktail
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
A twist on the classic gold rush cocktail recipe made with bourbon, lemon, honey, Applejack brandy, and fresh rosemary. A smooth, citrusy, and refreshing bourbon cocktail with fall vibes.


  • 1 1/2 ounces bourbon
  • 1/2 ounce Applejack brandy, you can skip and just use 2 ounces bourbon
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2-3/4 ounce honey syrup
  • 1 sprig of rosemary

Honey Syrup (Makes 1/2 cup)

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup hot water


  • Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker or mixing glass. Gently muddle the rosemary to extract the oils.
  • Fill the shaker with ice and stir vigorously for 10-15 seconds. Strain into a chilled coupe glass or with a giant ice cube in a double old fashioned glass. Garnish with 1/2 a sprig of rosemary.

Honey Syrup

  • Heat water in a microwavable safe measuring cup for about 45 seconds to 1 minute until warm (not boiling).
  • Sir in honey until fully dissolved and golden. Store in the fridge in a mason jar or plastic squeeze bottle for up to a month.


As mentioned the Applejack adds a nice apple cinnamon touch and delivers a unique taste to the drink. If you don't have or want to buy, you can just use 2 ounces of bourbon instead.


Serving: 1gCalories: 202kcalCarbohydrates: 18.1gProtein: 0.3gFat: 0.2gSaturated Fat: 0.2gSodium: 7mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 18.1g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Cocktail
Cuisine: American
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About Shawn Williams

My name is Shawn, author behind Kitchen Swagger. I'm a food & drink enthusiast bringing you my own simple and delicious restaurant-inspired recipes.

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