If you’re looking for an excellent drink that just screams luxury and class but is not your standard, expected fares like Manhattans or Old Fashioneds, try a Whiskey Smash on for size. This innovative 19-century drink is akin to the Mint Julep in its refreshing and bright flavor.
This cocktail was first publicly recognized in Jerry Thomas’ 1887 The Bartenders Guide. However, people had likely been whipping up whiskey and fruit for several years before its official announcement. People think that this drink was fashionable far before it was mentioned in The Bartenders Guide because Mint Juleps first debuted in the 1700s and Whiskey Sours were already very fashionable by the time 1887 rolled around.
If you want to make this fruit-forward drink the expert way, you will need to muddle it thoroughly. Muddling means pressing your lemons so that both oils and juices are released. The oil from the lemon peel will really give this drink the kick that it needs. If you want to get really fancy, you can add some cooling mint to your mixture. Spearmint lends a charming note to the beverage.
Although this drink got its official start in the late 1800s, it experienced a rebirth in the 1980s and 1990s, when Dale DeGroff, also known as King Cocktail, put them in regular rotation at New York City’s Rainbow Room. DeGroff was one of the most popular bartenders of the era, and his endorsement helped elevate and introduce the drink to a whole new generation. DeGroff’s signature spin on the classic drink uses bourbon, mint, and lemon wedges, but you can also make yours with rye or Canadian whiskey.
According to DeGroff, the mint and citrus take the edge off the whiskey, making it palatable for those who don’t like whiskey in general. It’s a charming, simple, and sophisticated cocktail and is sure to please any palate.
Whiskey Smash Recipe
- 2 Oz Bourbon or Whiskey
- ¾ Oz Simple Syrup
- 4-5 Mint Leaves
- 3 Large Lemon Wedges
- 1 Mint Sprig Garnish
- Muddle the mint and lemon together well
- Add in simple syrup, bourbon, and ice and shake until thoroughly mixed
- Strain and pour into a rocks glass over cubed ice
- Adorn the glass with a sprig of mint
For the best results, make sure that you slightly crush the spring of mint before garnishing the glass. You can do this by slapping it on your hand or lightly crushing it with a spoon. This will help to make the mint more fragrant, and ultimately the drink more delicious.
If you want a classic whiskey cocktail, this drink is a great bet. It can satisfy the tastes of whiskey lovers and novices alike, as the citrus and mint flavors help keep the whiskey from becoming too overwhelming. It’s a fabulous choice for a summer cocktail. Since it’s so simple, you can easily make a batch for parties without having to be far from your guests for too long.