Samuel Gelston’s Gold Rush Cocktail

samuel gelston's gold rush cocktail

Samuel Gelston’s collaborations explore the golden roots of its Irish Whiskey. 

Award-winning Belfast-based mixologist Emily Doherty and leading gold prospector Vince Thurkettle will be fronting the new Gelston’s Gold Rush campaign, which will unveil gold-inspired cocktail recipes, a gold panning event in the home of the brand and an exploration into Ireland’s prospecting past. Wild gold expert and jewellery maker Mark Bell will also be on hand to add some seasonal sparkle by creating a showstopping gold bottle of Samuel Gelston’s whiskey, which will be revealed in a festive competition this December. 

Established in Belfast in the 1830s, Samuel Gelston’s was purchased by daring young Irishman Harry Neill in 1869 who made his fortune in Australia’s spectacular 1851 Gold Rush. Upon returning to Belfast, Harry used his new found wealth to rebuild the Gelston’s business and export his ‘liquid gold’ for the world to enjoy. 

Vince explains:“I love all the gold rush stories and have prospected out in Australia in the area where the 1850s gold rush took place, and Harry made his fortune. I have recovered gold and treasure from a tragic shipwreck from that time, the ‘Royal Charter’ which was bringing gold miners and their families home – and carried about 150 million Euros worth of gold.  If Harry had been on that ship we wouldn’t now have these fabulous whiskeys.

Mixologist Emily looked to the past to re-create a classic cocktail for today’s whiskey enthusiasts. She explains: 

 “My inspiration behind this drink was to take the classic ‘gold rush’ cocktail and put a modern twist on it. Hot honey is something that became very popular this year and there is a good reason, you get the sweetness and floral notes coming from the honey with the light spice and black pepper from the chilli. The other ingredients in this cocktail are the type of ingredients you see in a Margarita but they work incredibly well with whiskey, the orange juice opens up the sweet notes in the spirit and the salt rim balances out the sweetness.”

The Gelston’s Gold Rush

50ml Samuel Gelston’s Blended Irish whiskey 

20ml Lime juice 

30ml Fresh orange juice 

10ml Hot honey *

Shake all ingredients over ice and strain into an iced punch or rocks glass, with a salt rim, and a burnt orange slice as garnish.

*To make the hot honey, pick your favourite honey and add two hot chillies, or add in two teaspoons of dried chilli flakes, leave for two days then strain. 


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I am Emma and with my husband Mark write Foodie Explorers, which is a food and travel website.

I am a member of the Guild of Food Writers and British Guild of Travel Writers.

We have a wide range of judging experience covering products, hotels and have judged, for example, for Great Taste Awards and Scottish Baker of the Year.

Along the way Mark gained WSET Level 2 in Wine and I have WSET Level 2 in Spirits as well as picking up an award with The Scotsman Food and Drink Awards.    

Usually I can be found sleeping beside a cat.

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