A whiskey smash is a little like a julep, though you might have some different flavors going on. This version gets a flavor kick with a hint of punchy ginger which pairs perfectly with the fresh mint. It's smooth, with a wonderful sweet-sour balance you'll instantly love.
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I'm a bit fussy when it comes to cocktails. I do like some simple classics like gin and tonics, a Pimm's cup or mojito. I tend to avoid overly sweet drinks, though do like ones with plenty fruit flavor (hello mango margarita). But ones that are purely spirits are also a bit too much for me.
Something with citrus is a pretty safe bet for me, and so when I discovered sours and smashes, I knew I'd found a favorite. Whether it's the more classic whiskey, or twists like my hibiscus mezcal sour, I find the simple, tart mix so appealing.
What is a smash?
Like some other groups of cocktail, smashes can be a little hard to define. According to this history of the smash article, a smash is a kind of julep, but a julep isn't always a smash. Having been around over a century, it has seen a few variations.
In general a smash seems to be classified as some kind of fruit, herb (often mint) and spirit mixed together with a little sweetener and over ice. However it's not a hard and fast set of ingredients and some versions don't fully fit even this loose set of 'rules'.
We had a take on a ginger whiskey smash in Hawaii that was a little different from this, but had me determined to try one at home. Since I had some homemade ginger syrup already, it was the perfect excuse.
Ideally, you'd have a cocktail shaker and shake everything together (hence 'smash'). But even just muddling everything well in a glass gets a decent amount of flavor from the mint. You can help it by letting the muddled mint steep a little.
This ginger whiskey smash is easy to make and for only a few ingredients, tastes much more complex than it is. It has a smooth balance of tart and sweet. It's a little boozy but not in a way that's hard to drink. In other words, this cocktail is definitely one to try soon.
Try these other cocktails with mint:
- Pomegranate mojito
- Blackberry bourbon smash
- Ginger mojito
- Plus get more cocktail recipes in the archives.
And if you like these flavors, you might want to join me in adding Quite Good Food's pineapple ginger rum cocktail to your list.
Ginger whiskey smash
- 2 oz whiskey recommend bourbon - I used Eagle Rare
- ¾ oz lemon juice fresh (or increase to 1 oz/30ml per glass if prefer a little more sour)
- ¾ oz ginger syrup
- 10 mint leaves
- Place all of the ingredients together in a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice and shake well to mix and chill.
- Strain it into a glass filled with a little ice, pressing the mint to get as much flavor from it as you can. Note a smash is often served over plenty crushed ice so serve as you prefer.
See some of my favorite cooking tools and ingredients in the Caroline's Cooking Amazon store.