July 7, 2022

Bourbon Smash

Prep Time: 5 mins
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Tangy, tart, and sweet - this Bourbon Smash is the perfect drink no matter what time of year. It's made with muddled lemons, fresh mint leaves, and a tiny bit of honey for a cool and crisp drink.

Serve this classic smash cocktail with ice and a fresh mint sprig for a delightfully refreshing treat.

a bourbon smash on a brown tray with fresh mint, sliced lemons, and ice cubes.

Who doesn't love a good and easy cocktail? Especially an easy cocktail that you can make with only a handful of ingredients? I recently went to a whiskey tasting with some friends and a Bourbon Smash was one of the drinks that they served as a welcome cocktail.

Needless to say, it was such a delicious cocktail that I had to come home and remake it for myself. Turns out, it's nothing more than a few simple ingredients.

What is a bourbon smash?

This classic smash recipe is actually considered to be a julep with seasonal fruit, which is also known as a smash. The drink first came about in "The Bartender's Guide" by Jerry Thomas as a spin off of a whiskey sour.

It's also very similar to a mint julep, the only difference is that a mint julep doesn't have lemons. It's served with crushed ice in a cocktail glass or rocks glass and is a pretty simple cocktail but has so much flavor.

a bourbon cocktail in a glass on a serving tray.

What's in a bourbon smash?

These classic cocktails contain only four simple ingredients - lemon wedges (or lemon juice if you don't have fresh lemons), mint leaves, honey or simple syrup, and of course, bourbon.

I've heard of some adding a bit of soda water as these drinks tend to be on the stronger side, however, at it's core, those are the 4 ingredients.

Feel free to get creative and use a smoky bourbon or a maple bourbon for enhanced flavor/taste. I used Marker's Mark, it's always a classic choice in my home, however, you can use your favorite whiskey.

ingredients needed to make a bourbon smash - lemons, whiskey bourbon, mint leaves, and honey.

What You'll Need (Equipment)

  • Cocktail Shaker - I love using a shaker tin to ensure the drink is mixed well, however, you can also use a mason jar with a lid or any cup that has a lid.
  • Muddler - the muddler isn't mandatory. If you don't have one, you can use a wooden spoon to smash the lemons and mint.
  • Jigger - I recommend using a jigger because it's easier to measure the ingredients.
  • Serving Glasses
bourbon smash on a cutting board with lemons and ice cubes.

How to make a Bourbon Smash

This Bourbon Smash recipe is SO easy. All you need is 5 minutes, a muddler, and a cocktail shaker.

  1. Add lemon wedges, mint leaves, and honey to a cocktail shaker. Crush the lemon wedges and mint leaves with a muddler until the juices have rendered and the mint leaves become fragrant, about 15 seconds.
  2. Add bourbon and ice to the cocktail shaker and place the cap on top. Shake for 10-15 seconds and pour into a glass. (if you don't like the pulp or don't wait the lemons and mint leaves in your drink, pour the bourbon smash through a fine strain or julep strainers)
  3. Serve with crushed fresh ice, a lemon wedge, and a sprig of mint.

How to make Crushed Ice

The easiest way to make crushed ice at home is to pop some ice cubes in a blender and pulse a few times. For a more dramatic, theatrical way if you don't have a blender, you can place ice cubes in a ziploc bag and smash the cubes with a dough roller or mallet (just be super careful lol).

two bourbon cocktails on a serving board.

What food goes with bourbon?

For savory options, steak, ham, BBQ ribs, and anything with a smoky flavor profile. For sweet flavors, chocolates, berries, chocolate cakes, and anything with caramel pair exceptionally well with bourbon.

Tip and Variations

  • My favorite way to enjoy a bourbon smash is with natural sweeteners like honey and the sugars from the fresh lemons. However, if you prefer simple syrup, you can use that instead as this is the more traditional ingredient. Honey adds a deeper flavor to the drink. You can also use maple syrup to add a lovely caramel/vanilla flavor.
  • Serve in a double old fashioned glass for a really pretty presentation. Fill with ice and garnish.
  • If the drink is too strong, feel free to dilute with a little club soda or ginger beer.

FAQs

What makes a drink a smash?

A smash is a kind of julep where you literally muddle together mint, a fresh fruit, and an alcohol.

What does a bourbon smash taste like?

If you've ever had a whiskey sour / classic whiskey smash, the taste is very similar. The only difference is that in a smash, the actual lemon is used and muddled to render out the lemon juice for a more concentrated lemon flavor.

More Cocktails to Enjoy!

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Bourbon Smash

Tangy, tart, and sweet - this Bourbon Smash is the perfect drink no matter what time of year. It's made with muddled lemons, fresh mint leaves, and a tiny bit of honey for a cool and crisp drink. Serve this classic smash cocktail with ice and a fresh mint sprig for a delightfully refreshing treat.
Serving: 1
Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
Calories: 244kcal

Equipment

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • muddler
  • Jigger
  • Cocktail Glass

Ingredients

  • 4 Lemon Wedges
  • 8 Mint Leaves
  • 1 oz Honey (add more or less depending on desired sweetness)
  • 2 oz Bourbon

Directions

  • Add lemon wedges, mint leaves, and honey to a cocktail shaker and muddle for about 10 seconds, until juices render and mint leaves become fragrant.
  • Add Bourbon and ice and place lid on top. Shake for 10-15 seconds and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 244kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 161mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 356IU | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Cocktails, Drinks
Cuisine: American

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