This Blackberry Bourbon Smash is the perfect drink for this summer. The muddled blackberries give this drink the perfect beautiful pink/purple color. There’s a little lime juice and mint muddled in as well for a slight tang and fresh flavor. The beauty of it is that you can control how sweet you want it a couple of different ways. Add in your favorite sweetener, whether that’s simple syrup, agave, or others, and use the drink topper of choice. What do I mean by drink topper?? After all the ingredients are muddled and shaken to incorporate all the flavors, it gets poured into a glass and topped with club soda, tonic water, ginger beer, or sparkling water. See? So incredibly versatile but always thirst quenching and delicious!
Truth be told, I did not like bourbon at all before. I wouldn’t even seek it out. Isn’t that how it goes though? It’s not like I was drinking my way through college with old fashioned or manhattan drinks. It was all about the cheapest beer, cheapest wine, $1 nights at piano bar, and well drinks. Long gone are those days, thank goodness! Let’s be real, I’ve evolved and along with that my taste for alcohol and good drinks has evolved. Thanks to my husband I expanded my palette and have learned to really like bourbon. It wasn’t easy or a quick transition though. Even when we were dating I could hardly stand a sip of any of his bourbon drinks. Slowly he started introducing me to good bourbon and I started appreciating it more. Now I am happy to try and drink lots of bourbon drinks, especially if they involve fruity goodness. This Blackberry Bourbon Smash is definitely refreshing and makes you want to be sitting on a patio enjoying the sun.
Let’s talk a little more about bourbon. Here’s something my husband always wanted me to remember: all bourbon is whiskey but not all whiskey is bourbon. I won’t go into detail because it’s just a lot to think about lol. Just know that you will want good bourbon for this drink. What is good bourbon? You want a bourbon that is full of flavor, rich, and smooth. We always have a variety of bourbon on our bar cart for different drinks. Here are a few we like and recommend:
Four Roses– I personally really like to use this one for my cocktails. Smooth and easy to drink. We like the Single Barrel.
Knob Creek– my husband likes to keep this one around for his old fashioned drinks.
Buffalo Trace– my husband says this is his top choice for cocktails.
Maker’s Mark- always makes a good cocktail and can’t go wrong with it.
Woodford Reserve– we don’t always have but is a good one for cocktails, especially one like this one. (It’s actually the official bourbon for the Kentucky Derby, think mint juleps).
Trust me, I am no bourbon expert at all. If you put a bourbon cocktail in front of me I will drink it and not think twice about what bourbon is in it. I mean if it’s gross, I’ll notice. Otherwise, I am not picky. My husband on the other hand, don’t give him “bad” bourbon, he will notice. My point is, don’t stress too much about the kind of bourbon you use and do just a tad bit of research on what you buy. Doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy. After all, you’re mixing it with other goodness like fruit and mint. I must mention that this is a perfect cocktail to make pitchers of for your summer BBQs or get togethers. So dang good and refreshing! Cheers!
Blackberry Bourbon Smash
- 5 blackberries
- ½ large lime juiced
- 4 mint leaves
- 2 oz bourbon
- ½-¾ simple syrup to taste, depends on topper drink of choice; *see notes
- sparkling water or topper drink of choice; **see notes
- In a shaker add blackberries, mint and lime juice. Muddle until the berries have burst, about 20 seconds
- Add bourbon, simple syrup, and a few ice cubes. Shake well to thoroughly combine the flavors, about 15-20 seconds.
- Add ice to your serving glass. Using strainer on shaker or separate cocktail strainer, pour drink over ice. Top with sparkling water. Garnish with blackberries, lime, and/or mint.