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Bourbon Smash (Easy Whiskey Cocktail)

Whiskey lovers, wet your whistle with this bourbon smash!

It’s the ultimate refreshment to kick back and relax. Mix one up in minutes and enjoy this easy sipper. 

Three Bourbon Smashes in Rocks Glasses with Lots of Crushed Ice and Mint on a White Marble Table
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The balance of bright, herbaceous, sweet, and tart flavors is intoxicating.

It’s everything you love about a mint Julep, except you get a refreshing twist of lemon. How perfect is that?!

From summer porch sessions to after-dinner sipping, you’ll adore this bourbon smash.

What Is a Bourbon Smash 

A bourbon smash is a riff on the whiskey smash. It has four ingredients: bourbon, mint, lemon, and simple syrup. 

I know it sounds pretty simple, but the flavors are so complex.

The vibrant infusion of fresh ingredients enhances the flavor of the bourbon. It’s sweet, bold, citrusy, and so refreshing. 

Muddling the mint and citrus releases their juices and aromatic oils. Simple syrup lends a sweet, sugary kiss, and bourbon gives it a warming touch.

It’s balanced and goes down so smoothly. And it only takes minutes to make!

You can enjoy this libation any time of year. Although, it’s specially made with hot days in mind.  

Close Up of Bourbon Smash in a Rocks Glass with Lots of Crushed Ice, a Lemon Wedge, and a Sprig of Mint on a White Marble Table

Ingredients 

You don’t need a well-stocked bar to make a bourbon smash. You need four simple ingredients, ice, and a cocktail glass. 

  • Simple syrup – Homemade or store-bought both work. You can also naturally sweeten this cocktail with honey or maple syrup.
  • Mint – A handful of fresh mint leaves gives it a refreshing snap. 
  • Lemon wedges – Use any lemon variety you like. Meyer lemons have an especially nice flavor. 
  • Bourbon – It’s not a bourbon smash without it! Use any brand you like. 
  • Ice – You need it for both the cocktail shaker and the glass.

How to Make a Bourbon Smash 

Crafting a bourbon smash is easy no matter your skill level. Here’s how to make it:

  1. Muddle. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the simple syrup, mint, and lemon wedges.
  2. Shake. Pour the bourbon on top of the muddled mixture. Pack the cocktail shaker with ice, then shake it vigorously. 
  3. Strain. Double-strain the bourbon smash into a cocktail glass packed with ice.
  4. Garnish. Add mint to the glass for a garnish and sip!

As for bartender tools, a muddler is ideal. So is a cocktail shaker. But if you don’t have either, use what you have.

A wooden spoon will work as a muddler substitute. You can also use a Mason jar for mixing instead of a shaker. 

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Bourbon Smash in Rocks Glass with Ice Cubes and a Spring of Mint

Choosing the Right Bourbon

Selecting the right bourbon for the job can seem daunting. After all, there are so many exceptional bourbons you can use.

I recommend choosing something affordably priced. Also, choose something smooth with a flavor profile that pairs with mint and citrus.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Maker’s Mark
  • Buffalo Trace
  • Bulliet
  • Four Roses Single Barrel
  • Knob Creek

When in doubt, go with your favorite!

Tips and Tricks 

Want to make the best bourbon smash? Let these tips and tricks be your guide. 

  • Slap the mint sprig against the back of your hand. This helps to release the essential oils and make the aroma more potent.
  • Use a muddler. It works like a pestle and really helps infuse the cocktail with flavor.
  • Make it fruity. Blackberries, strawberries, peaches, pineapple, mangos, they’re all yummy. Add your pick with the simple syrup, mint, and lemon, then muddle.
  • Go for high-quality. Ripe lemon, fresh mint, and quality bourbon will craft a primo libation.
  • Measure with a jigger. A jigger is a bar tool that helps you measure ingredients properly. Use it for the bourbon and simple syrup to get the right ratio.
  • Change up the citrus. Citrus fruits like lime or grapefruit add a fun twist.
  • Pour it into a Tom Collins glass. Traditionally served in an Old-Fashioned glass, you can trade it in for a Collins glass. Just add more ice and soda water for a refreshing twist.
Bourbon Smash in Rocks Glass with Ice, Lemon Slices, and Mint on a Slate Coaster on a White Marble Table with Lemons and a Cocktail Shaker in the Background

Variations 

Mix things up with different bourbon smash variations. From fresh ingredients to mixers, there are plenty of different versions to try.

  • Blackberry Bourbon Smash. Muddle the blackberries with the simple syrup, mint, and lemon.
  • Maple Bourbon Smash. Swap out the simple syrup for maple syrup. It gives the libation a warming sweetness, creating a refreshing fall bourbon cocktail.
  • Ginger Bourbon Smash. Top of the drink with ginger beer for a punchy twist.
  • Basil Bourbon Smash. Use fresh basil leaves instead of mint. 
  • Spicy Bourbon Smash. Add jalapeno to the mix and muddle it for a spicy kick.

Bourbon Smash (Easy Cocktail Recipe)

Servings

1

servings
Prep time

5

minutes
Cooking time

5

minutes

Get boozy with this tasty bourbon smash! The addition of mint, lemon, and simple syrup is the perfect way to jazz up your whiskey drink.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 ounce simple syrup

  • 6 fresh mint leaves

  • 3 lemon wedges

  • 2 ounces bourbon

  • Ice

  • mint sprig, for garnish

Instructions

  • Add the simple syrup, mint leaves, and lemon wedges to a cocktail shaker. Muddle them until the mint is crushed and the lemon is broken down.
  • Add the bourbon and fill the shaker with ice. Shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds or until well chilled.
  • Double-strain it into an Old-Fashioned glass filled with ice. Garnish it with a mint sprig.
  • Serve it and enjoy!

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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