A Refreshing Blackberry Cocktail with Plenty of Bourbon.
This is such a solid end-of-summer cocktail to drink in the evenings when the sun starts to set before 8:30 pm. But really, it’s such a solid cocktail to make at home any time of the year. I use a homemade ginger simple syrup for this drink, which makes it even more special and delicious.
What is a Blackberry Bourbon Smash?
This drink is such a classic cocktail. A “smash” is comprised of seasonal fruits, mint, citrus, and a spirit of your choice. If you’ve ever had a mint julep, which is basically just bourbon, sugar, and mint, the smash is like the julep’s close relative. But this drink has a hit of fresh fruit and citrus, which makes it delicious in every way.
How was the Smash Cocktail Created?
According to Imbibe Magazine (which I fully trust), one of the earliest examples of a smash cocktail appears in How to Mix Drinks, which was the first American bartenders’ guide written by Jerry Thomas in 1862. Jerry started bartending in NYC in the 1850s, and made a name for himself by popularizing a ton of cocktails that we still drink today. He’s considered by some to be the father of mixology, or the godfather of flair bartending, and the founding father of modern bartending. Really, he started the movement that made delicious cocktails a part of everyday American life. *thank you, Jerry*
What do I need to make a Blackberry Bourbon Smash?
Not much! Here’s a list of ingredients:
- Fresh Blackberries
- Fresh Mint
- Ginger Simple Syrup
- Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
- Sparkling Water OR Ginger Beer
Don’t let the ginger simple syrup part turn you off! It’s VERY easy to make, and it will keep in your refrigerator for up to a month.
How to make Ginger Simple Syrup:
Peel the skin off or a 3 inch piece of ginger, then chop it into small cubes. Heat equal parts water and sugar in a saucepan (over low heat) until the sugar is dissolved. (I used 1/2 cup of each). Stir in the freshly chopped ginger, then remove the pan from the heat. Let the ginger steep for 30 minutes, upwards of an hour. Discard the ginger, and keep the simple syrup in an airtight container for more cocktails!
Alternatively, you can use regular simple syrup or agave syrup, but definitely swap the club soda for ginger beer.
More Cocktails with Fruit:
I’m all about the fruity cocktails in the summertime. They’re refreshing, easy, and full of flavor. Some other really good fruity cocktails you can check out are:
- grilled pineapple and jalapeño margaritas
- blueberry cilantro margaritas
- grilled peach + bourbon cocktail
- bourbon, blackberry, thyme and lemon cocktail
- blackberry margaritas
- cucumber mojitos
You are more than welcome to click here for a list of all of the cocktails on my blog! Each recipe is for one or two cocktails, so they’re definitely small batch recipes.
Mark and I have made Juleps for all of our friends at our annual Derby party over the last seven years, and we always use tiny crushed ice for them. (Think Sonic ice, if you’re familiar.) So that’s the ice we use for this smash, too!
blackberry bourbon smash
- 15 blackberries
- 10 large mint leaves
- 1 1/2 ounces ginger simple syrup see notes!
- 2 ounces freshly squeezed orange juice
- 4 ounces bourbon
- 4 ounces club soda OR ginger beer (optional)
- Muddle the blackberries, mint, and simple syrup together in a large cocktail shaker.
- Pour in the orange juice and bourbon, then fill with ice. Seal tightly, and shake for 30 seconds.
- Fill two cocktail glasses with crushed ice. Strain the drink, dividing it between the glasses.
- If you prefer some bubbles and a larger cocktail, pour two ounces of club soda or ginger beer into each glass.
- Garnish with a blackberry and mint leaf, and enjoy!
- Peel then chop a 3" piece of fresh ginger into small cubes.
- Heat equal parts water and sugar in a small sauce pan. (Use 1/2 cup of each.) Stir until the sugar dissolves. Stir in ginger, remove from heat.
- Let the ginger steep for 30 minutes to an hour. Discard ginger.
- Store in an airtight container for up to a month in the refrigerator.
NO GINGER? ::
- Use 1 1/2 ounces of regular simple syrup OR 1 tablespoon of sugar instead of the ginger simple syrup.
- Substitute honey or agave for simple syrup!