Whiskey might not seem like the go-to base spirit for cocktails, but it has many delicious names in its repertoire. The Whiskey Smash is a great and refreshing example of it.
Discover how to make a whiskey smash, when to serve it, and the best foods that pair well with it below.
This classic cocktail calls for:
- 2 ounces of whiskey
- 3/4 ounces of simple syrup
- 4 mint leaves
- 3 lemon wedges
- 1 mint spring, for garnish
Once you gather the ingredients, follow these steps:
- Muddle the lemon wedges in a cocktail shaker.
- Add the rest of your ingredients with ice and shake until well-chilled.
- Double-strain into a rock glass.
- Add the mint spring as a garnish and enjoy.
The standard Whiskey Smash recipe uses bourbon whiskey because it has a sweeter profile compared to other types of whiskey. But you can also use other types if you want to experiment.
A common Bourbon Smash alternative uses rye whiskey to get a slightly spicier flavor profile. If you want something on the mild side, try it with Irish whiskey.
The Whiskey Smash is surprisingly calorie-heavy, considering how light and refreshing it feels. One serving has around 262 calories and roughly 33.6 g of carbs.
If you use 80-proof whiskey, the ABV will stand at around 23%, which isn’t strong but does pack some heat.
The Whiskey Smash is a classic cocktail that doesn’t require much improvement. Still, these simple tips may help you serve it just right:
- Muddle mint and lemon wedge: Unlike plain squeezing, muddling helps release natural oils from your ingredients, which infuse the drink with even more flavors. For a classic smash recipe, don’t skip the muddled lemon wedges and fresh mint leaves. If you don’t have a muddler, use the back of a spoon.
- Serve in a mason jar: This whiskey drink is perfect for a pool party or a barbecue. You can serve it in mason jars with straws to create a relaxed and carefree atmosphere.
- Use fresh ingredients: You can only get that signature smash taste when using fresh mint and lemon. Bottled lemon juice will make the drink too sweet, while dried herbs won’t infuse enough flavor into the beverage.
- Mix in a large pitcher: You can make more Whiskey Smash in a pitcher or punch bowl and allow your guests to serve themselves. Have some crushed ice nearby, as the smash should always be served cold.
- Pair with red meat or appetizers: The Whiskey Smash can work well next to a steak dinner or a light appetizer like bruschetta or a cheese platter.
Here are some other smash recipes and variants to try:
- Basil Smash: Use gin and basil instead of mint to get an equally refreshing yet lighter summer cocktail.
- Maple Smash: Mix bourbon with maple syrup, then muddle lemon and mint to get a richer, darker variant.
- Mint Julep: Skip the lemon juice and double the mint to get one of the simplest whiskey cocktails.
- Whiskey Sour: Mix bourbon with lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg whites, and top with a maraschino cherry for a classic sour cocktail.
Making the classic whiskey smash doesn’t take a lot of prep time, but the complex flavors make it seem like the drink took hours to design.
So impress your party guests by showing them how muddling some ingredients can bring a cocktail to new heights!