Whiskies and bourbons have always been my spirits of choice. Something about the oak and vanilla and caramel notes really always get me. I find myself most often gravitating towards bourbon old fashioneds and manhattans. In my opinion, those really are drinks best suited to cooler weather and with the hot Texas summer looming ahead, I’ve been looking for a light and refreshing libation to fill the void. A whiskey smash is like the cousin to the mint julep, but with more personality. This drink brings together whiskey, citrus, mint and blackberry for a delightful drink that I wouldn’t mind sipping poolside any day of the week.
If you happened to make the these blackberry lemonade glazed donuts from earlier in the week, perhaps you have some blackberry puree leftover which I’m using in place of a simple syrup for a richer blackberry. If not, no sweat! I’ve got you covered with the blackberry puree recipe at the bottom. I used a local Texas whiskey made with baby blue corn and its notes of sweet tea, caramel and brown sugar really round out the drink. If you’re interested in the whiskey, you can find it here!
Happy imbibing, folks!
BLACKBERRY WHISKEY SMASH:
makes 1 cocktail
3 oz whiskey or bourbon
1/2 oz blackberry puree
2 lemon wedges
3 oz ginger beer or sparkling water
In a cocktail shaker or mixing glass, muddle lemon wedges with 1 sprig of mint. Add blackberry and whiskey and ice. Shake until combined (or stir, if that’s your thing). Pour all contents into a standard rocks glass and top with a float of ginger beer. Garnish with extra mint.
makes 1 cup
1 pint fresh blackberries, rinsed
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
Mix all ingredients in a small sauce pot and cook over medium low heat for 20-25 minutes until syrupy. Pass through a fine mesh sieve to remove seeds and pulp. Store for up to 2 weeks in the fridge or freeze for up to 3 months.