Honey Lemon Whiskey Sour (Gold Rush Cocktail)

Enjoy a honey lemon whiskey sour for happy hour! This recipe modifies the classic whiskey sour by replacing the lime juice with lemon and the sugar with local honey.

a honey lemon whiskey sour with an egg

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I realize I probably sound like the poster child for whiskey because so many of the cocktails I have shared lately have been whiskey-based.

What can I say? It’s January. It’s really cold out, and I want it to be spring already.

I’m dreaming of warmer days, and there’s nothing like a little whiskey cocktail to make you dream more.

Let’s talk about this honey lemon whiskey sour. It also goes by another name: the Gold Rush cocktail.

The gold rush cocktail — a honey lemon whiskey sour

Honey and lemon are two of my favorite flavors. They compliment each other so well, whether it’s in a cup of tea or in a cocktail.

Honey is one of my favorite additions to a cocktail. (See also: this honey mint julep. And this honey peach old-fashioned.)

Why? I almost always have honey on hand, whereas simple syrup is something I usually need to whip up.

In fact, in those cases, I will often make honey simple syrup.

In fact, you can use this homemade honey whiskey to keep on hand for all your Gold Rush cocktail needs:

Make Homemade Honey Whiskey liqueur that tastes even better than store-bought. Sip it on the rocks or use it to make hot toddies and other whiskey cocktails. (via feastandwest.com)

Seriously, this homemade honey whiskey will change your life. It’s so much better than store-bought honey whiskey!

What is a whiskey sour?

A whiskey sour is a refreshing and balanced cocktail that’s made with whiskey, lemon juice, sugar and egg white. Sometimes it is served with a cocktail cherry on top.

When the ingredients are shaken in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, the act of shaking against the ice helps the egg white to get a frothy texture. When strained into a glass, the egg white foam floats to the top of the drink.

Whiskey sours are easy drinks to make, especially if you have any leftover lemon from other drinks or recipes you make.

I love drinks with whole eggs or egg whites in them, and I love whiskey and lemon — so this Honey Lemon Whiskey Sour recipe checks all my boxes for a great drink.

But if egg white isn’t your thing, you can serve this drink on the rocks without it.

Are egg whites in drinks safe?

Eggs add a host of excellent qualities to a cocktail. They can add thickness and silkiness, like eggnog. It can add an “eggy” taste, but it’s honestly very subtle.

Of course, there is always a concern that using raw egg or egg whites in a cocktail would be unsafe. Follow these tips for using egg whites in a cocktail safely.

Always purchase pasteurized eggs in the shell — that is the recommendation for any food or drink that includes raw eggs, according to the USDA.

Also, make sure you keep your eggs refrigerated and don’t use any that are already cracked.

How to separate the egg white

I like to use this egg separator tool for removing the yolk. Just rest it over the edge of your cocktail shaker and crack the egg into it, then toss the yolk.

(Or refrigerate it in a covered container for tomorrow’s breakfast!)

How to make this cocktail your own

Typically, whiskey sours are made with whiskey, lime (not lemon), sugar (not honey) and an optional egg white — all ingredients that go well together.

You can substitute other base spirits to end up with other drinks, such as rum, tequila, gin and vodka, and some of those combinations are better known by other names.

  • A rum sour with lime, for example, is a daiquiri.
  • A tequila sour with lime and a little orange liqueur is a margarita.
  • A gin sour with honey is a Prohibition-era cocktail called a Bee’s Knees.

And if you’re not a lemon fan, you can sub in other citrus juices too!

Grapefruit is always a winner if you like a tart cocktail, or you can add blood orange to a cocktail for a sweet (and colorful) drink.

Here is a blood orange whiskey sour recipe you might like!

Blood Orange Whiskey Sour — a tart twist on the classic. (via feastandwest.com)

And if you’d rather have something with more of a fruit flavor, I also have a recipe for a blackberry peach whiskey sour.

So, feel free to explore and modify this recipe. Let me know what you end up with!

You really can’t go wrong, in my opinion. After all, it’s a whiskey sour. // susannah

Honey Lemon Whiskey Sour

Honey Lemon Whiskey Sour

Yield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Enjoy a honey lemon whiskey sour for happy hour! This recipe modifies the classic whiskey sour by replacing the lime juice with lemon and the sugar with local honey.


  • 2 ounces bourbon or whiskey
  • 1 ounce lemon juice (preferably freshly squeezed)
  • 1 teaspoon local honey
  • 1 egg white (optional)
  • Ice


  1. Add whiskey, lemon juice, honey and egg white to cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  2. Place lid on cocktail shaker and shake hard, about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Strain liquid (no ice!) into a rocks glass to serve up, or with ice to serve on the rocks.


If you have a hard time dissolving the honey, you can make a honey syrup by diluting it with 1-2 teaspoons hot water.

You can omit the egg white, too, but I think it makes for a lovely, frothy addition to this classic. I prefer my whiskey sours served up/neat, but you can also enjoy them on the rocks.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 269Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 64mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 4g

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