The traditional whiskey smash gets a makeover in this Berry Bourbon Smash: strawberries, blackberries and blueberries make this cocktail fun and fresh.
I do not tout myself to being a mixologist. Far from it. A good friend of ours did take a mixology class and she has taught us a lot of nifty tricks over the years. My Engineer Hubby has taken it upon himself to learn the art of making a fab cocktail.
We have experimented with infusions and shrubs, and we have now moved on to enjoying bitters, especially after buying my hubby this fabulous bitters book by Brad Thomas Parsons for Christmas.
Last year another good friend of ours has a small whiskey distillery. So hubby started studying about whiskey. And if you know my husband, he takes his learning seriously.
Me? I can not take a swig of whiskey straight up. I always considered whiskey and bourbon to men’s drinks. So I was excited to come up with a whiskey drink that I would like.
What is bourbon?
The first thing I did was to figure out what bourbon was.
all bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon
It’s definitely more complicated than that statement! Whiskey is made all over the world and is made from fermented grain mash and then aged in wooden barrels. The different varieties of whiskey come from the different grain varieties used.
Bourbon is basically whiskey, but must be produced in the U.S. and made from 51% corn. There are even more requirements for bourbon to be called “bourbon.” You can read all about them here.
Great! I now know what bourbon is, what should I do with it?
Why you should try this recipe
A bit of research and I found the perfect girly whiskey drink: a whiskey smash. Apparently, it’s one of the older cocktails in American history, first being published in 1887.
In it’s simplest form, it is a cross between a whiskey sour and a mint julep. Many varieties are out there, including whiskey smash made with fruit.
So I made a Berry Bourbon Smash using fresh berries, lime, mint and simple syrup. Hubby thought it needed something else.
Voilà! A splash of aromatic bitters and it was done.
I am not whiskey drinker, or even a bourbon drinker. But this was pretty darn delicious.
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Ingredients you need
- Bourbon: You can use any flavor of whiskey or bourbon you like.
- Berries: You use one or a variety of berries. I used strawberries, blackberries and blueberries.
- Fresh mint: There are many varieties of mint you can use, from the basic mint we all know and love to spearmint, chocolate mint and lemon mint.
- Simple syrup: Simple syrup is made by combining one cup of sugar with one cup of water and heating it until a syrup is formed. You can use flavored or unflavored syrup.
- Aromatic bitters: There are many varieties of bitters you can use, from homemade to store bought. I used Angostura bitters.
1. Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and muddle together.
2. Fill two glasses with ice and divide cocktail and fruit evenly into the glasses then serve immediately.
Recipe tips and FAQs
Fruity cocktails are not reserved for rum or vodka. Think of this bourbon smash as whiskey version of a mojito. It is very refreshing and easy to make.
Fan of gin? Try this fruity strawberry salty dog.
You can customize your smash by using flavored simple syrups. One of our favorites is an orange simple syrup. Just add the zest of an orange while the syrup is simmering.
Different types of bitters also will vary how your cocktail will drink.
- 4 oz bourbon
- 2 strawberries, halved
- 1 ½ oz fresh blackberries
- 1 oz blueberries
- 4 leaves of fresh mint
- 1 oz simple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon aromatic bitters
- Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and muddle together.
- Fill two glasses with ice and divide cocktail and fruit evenly into the glasses.
- Serve immediately.
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