The classic Bourbon Smash! Year-round, no matter the occasion, this sweet-tart bourbon cocktail is always a hit. Even the non-bourbon drinkers will like this one. Made with a hearty dose of lemon and fresh mint, this refreshing cocktail is simple in concept yet dimensional in flavor.
What you’ll need for a Bourbon smash:
- Lemon wedges
- Fresh mint sprigs
- Simple syrup or maple syrup
- Crushed ice
How to make bourbon smash
- This classic cocktail comes together quickly and easily, here’s how simple it is:
- Drop three lemon wedges into a cocktail shaker and muddle until juices are released, about 10 smashes.
- Add the mint leaves and muddle just to release the flavor, about 8 smashes.
- Add bourbon and maple syrup (or simple syrup), fill shaker with ice, secure second glass or lid and shake vigorously until chilled, about 15 seconds.
- Fill a rocks glass with crushed ice, strain bourbon smash over ice and garnish with mint. And that’s it, the perfect cocktail!
How to make crushed ice at home
Unless you have an ice machine that crushes ice for you (go you!) you’ll need to crush some ice. There are a few ways you can crush ice at home but my favorite way is to pop some in a blender and give it a few pulses. The sound is earth shattering, but it makes the process simple and clean.
Before I pulse up my ice, I’ll place a bowl in the freezer to chill. Once the ice is crushed I’ll pour it into the chilled bowl, give it a quick fluff so it doesn’t stick together and place it in the freezer until I need it. The method isn’t perfect, but it’s the easiest way to do it at home.
Barware you’ll need:
Cocktail shaker—I prefer a good ‘ol restaurant shaker (aka Boston Shaker) over the very classy looking shakers with a lid (Cobbler shaker). Why? They’re far easier to use and create less mess. Once you get the hang of using a Boston shaker, you’ll never go back to the Cobbler shaker and the constant struggle of a stuck lid. I prefer a classic Boston shaker with a metal cup and a glass cup, but you can also find tin-on-tin Boston cocktail shakers with two metal cups.
Muddler—so you don’t need a muddler but you’ll need something that resembles a muddler. If you don’t have one on hand you can use the handle of a wooden spoon.
Rocks glasses—having a nice set of rocks glasses is essential in my opinion. Yes, you need them for a Bourbon smash, but you’ll also need them for a variety of classic cocktails like Old Fashions, Margaritas, Whiskey Sour, Sazerac and more. For this bourbon smash I fancied it up with a cross between a snifter and a rocks glass. Totally unnecessary, but pretty nonetheless.
Bourbon smash with maple syrup
Here at ZK we’re all about cooking, baking, and shaking up cocktails with natural sweeteners. When it comes to using natural sweeteners in cocktails, the best are maple syrup, agave nectar, and fresh fruit juice. Unlike honey, these types of sweeteners easily dissolve into a cocktail when shaken or stirred in.
Maple pairs incredibly well in a Bourbon Smash. The slightly smoky-sweet syrup enhances and adds nuance to the bourbon. If you can, find yourself a barrel ages maple syrup and you’ll add even more smoky flavor!
If you aren’t into maple syrup, you can certainly use simple syrup instead. And if you want to keep it natural use sucanat, honey or sugar in the raw to make the simple syrup.
Bourbon smash vs mint julep
What’s the difference between a bourbon smash and a mint julep? The flavors are similar between the two classic cocktails, but there are some major differences. For one, a mint julep doesn’t contain lemon like the bourbon smash does. Depending on the source, a mint julep can be sweetened with simple syrup, sugar, superfine sugar, or even powdered sugar. And finally, it’s served in a metal cup, not a rocks glass.
More whiskey cocktails you may like..
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The classic Bourbon Smash! This sweet tart cocktail is refreshing and nuanced. Perfect for any occasion, even the non-bourbon drinkers will like this cocktail!
- 3 lemon wedges
- 4 large mint leaves
- 1 ½ ounces bourbon
- ¾ ounce pure maple syrup or simple syrup
- Crushed ice
Add mint leaves and muddle just to release flavor, about 8 smashes.
Add bourbon and maple syrup (or simple syrup), fill shaker with ice, secure second glass or lid and shake vigorously until chilled, about 15 seconds.
Fill a rocks glass with crushed ice, strain bourbon smash over ice and garnish with mint.
Don’t have or want to make crushed ice? Serve this over a large square ice cube or serve it over regular ice.
- Serving Size: 1 cocktail
- Calories: 157
- Sugar: 13g
- Sodium: 5mg
- Fat: 0g
- Saturated Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 15g
- Fiber: 0g
- Protein: 0g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: whiskey smash, bourbon smash, maple bourbon smash, classic bourbon smash