Blackberry Bourbon Smash (Whiskey Smash Recipe)

4.67 from 3 votes
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The Blackberry Bourbon Smash is the whiskey drinker’s Mojito. I use the same recipe as my Blackberry Mojito and substitute bourbon for rum. This Whiskey Smash is crisp, refreshing, and versatile enough for any time of year.

Bourbon, lime, mint, blackberry, simple syrup, and a splash of club soda are all you need for this fantastic fruity libation. The most overlooked part of this cocktail is the final fizzy soda addition at the end. Club soda adds effervescence and also smooths the cocktail’s edges.

My goal for this cocktail was the highlight the purest flavors of bourbon and blackberry—I opted for club soda in place of anything flavored. I love this cocktail because it’s so balanced and brings so many fresh ingredients to the table. If you’re a fan of the Mint Julep, you will love this drink! Don’t like bourbon? try this cocktail with vodka with my berry vodka smash.

Ingredients

  • Simple syrup: simple syrup (also called simple sugar) is a popular cocktail sweetener made with equal parts sugar and water. It easily dissolves into cocktails, making for easy mixing and even distribution.
  • Club soda: club soda adds a little fizz and helps to balance/extend the cocktail so it’s not so “thick” from all the muddled fruits and herbs. You can also use a splash of water or sparkling water.
  • Lime juice: I always use fresh muddled limes but you can also use 1/2-3/4 ounces lime juice or even fresh lemon.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities below.

Cocktail Variations

I experimented with several variations of the bourbon smash and I’m here to tell you the options are endless. Usually, you have whiskey, soda, a sweetener, acid, fruits, and mint.

A few other options and substitutions:

  • Fresh lemon and lime wedges
  • Honey syrup, simple syrup (sugar), or maple syrup as the sweetener (see Bee’s Knees and Brown Derby next)
  • Experiment with ginger beer or ginger ale, for an earthy, spicy, and sweeter touch
  • Fresh mint or basil as the herbs
  • Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, peaches, or raspberries for fruit flavor

How to Make a Whiskey Smash

Step 1.

In a Boston shaker, combine mint leaves, lime wedges, simple sugar, and blackberries. Muddle until pulverized.

Step 2.

Add bourbon and a cup of ice and shake vigorously for 15 seconds.

Step 3.

Pour the full contents of the shaker into a double old-fashioned glass (no straining). Top with 1 ounce of club soda. Stir and garnish with mint leaves.

Expert Tips

  • Get a muddler: a muddler is a handheld wooden/stainless steel bar tool with a wide flat head on one end. A muddler is used to mash and pulverize fruits and fresh herbs to extract the delicate flavors in cocktails.
  • Don’t strain a Whiskey Smash: shake and transfer all of the fruits and herbs for the best sipping experience.
  • Snapping a sprig of mint leaves on the back of your hand helps to activate the aroma. This is perfect for aromatic garnishes.

Best Bourbon for Whiskey Smash

I love bourbon because there are so many great options out there at the $25-$40 price point. I would choose a lower-tier bourbon for this recipe since it’s going to be heavily flavored and fruited. My evergrowing list of favorite budget-friendly bourbons are:

  • Buffalo Trace
  • Larceny
  • Elijah Craig
  • Michter’s
  • Henry McKenna Single Barrel
  • Four Roses Single Barrel
  • Woodford Reserve
  • Eagle Rare
  • Knob Creek
  • Maker’s Mark

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use any type of whiskey?

Bourbon is best because it’s slightly sweeter than rye whiskey. You can use rye or Canadian whiskey in a pinch.

What is the difference between Whiskey Sour and Whiskey Smash?

The Whiskey Sour is made with bourbon, lemon juice (no wedges), and egg white. It’s a frothy cocktail with no solids.

Why is it called a Whiskey Smash?

The Whiskey Smash earned its name from the muddled/smashed fresh fruits and herbs present in the cocktail.

More Fruity Cocktails

Enjoy this recipe? If you made this cocktail, please leave a ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ star rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments!
4.67 from 3 votes

Blackberry Bourbon Smash Recipe

Servings: 1 cocktail
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
A bourbon smash made with fresh lime, fresh mint leaves, blackberries, and simple sugar.

Ingredients 

  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice, or 2 lime wedges, squeezed
  • 6-7 mint leaves, muddled
  • 2-3 blackberries, muddled
  • 3/4 ounce simple syrup, 1 tablespoon of sugar will do
  • 1 ounce club soda
  • Cup of ice

Instructions 

  • In a Boston shaker, combine mint leaves, lime wedges, simple sugar, and blackberries. Muddle until pulverized.
  • Add bourbon and a cup of ice and shake vigorously for 15 seconds.
  • Pour the full contents of the shaker into a double old-fashioned glass (no straining). Top with 1 ounce of club soda. Stir and garnish with mint leaves.

Notes

Club soda can be substituted with ginger ale or ginger beer for additional flavor.
Snapping a sprig of mint leaves on the back of your hand helps to activate the aroma. This is perfect for aromatic garnishes.
Get a muddler: a muddler is a handheld wooden/stainless steel bar tool with a wide flat head on one end. A muddler is used to mash and pulverize fruits and fresh herbs to extract the delicate flavors in cocktails.
Don’t strain a Whiskey Smash: shake and transfer all of the fruits and herbs for the best sipping experience.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 202kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 0.1gSodium: 22mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 0.2g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Cocktail
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @kitchenswagger or tag #kitchenswagger!

About Shawn Williams

My name is Shawn, author behind Kitchen Swagger. I'm a food & drink enthusiast bringing you my own simple and delicious restaurant-inspired recipes.

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15 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Very nice recipe! I was at an upscale seafood restaurant in Maine a few summers back and I had a Blackberry smash where Allagash White Beer was used as the seltzer. It was probably the best smash I’ve ever had, and I’ve been able to get really close to recreating it! Try making one with a nice fruity white ale, like Allagash or even Blue Moon works. And Mint Simple syrup if you can find it!

  2. I’ve actually used raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries instead of blackberries. Even non whiskey drinkers can’t resist. The possibilities are endless in my opinion.

  3. Just wanted to say thanks for this recipe! It’s spot on to a Blackberry Smash I get at a local restaurant here. Delish!! Also, I kept trying to rate the recipe 5 stars, but it wouldn’t register that I clicked it 🙁 As a fellow blogger, I know that’s important, so you totally have my permission to edit my comment and add the 5 stars!

    1. Thanks Amanda! You’re not the first person to mention the rating issue – I will try to look into that. That’s not good!

  4. I’m wondering if this would work as a big batch cocktail? I want to serve it at a party in a large pitcher.

    1. I’ve never tried but here are a few ideas. You could make everything up in a large pitcher except the club soda and ice. Muddle well and let sit. Pour over ice and add a splash of club soda to each serving. OR you could mix all the liquids in a pitcher and muddle blackberry and mint fresh in each glass then pour over ice for each serving. Hope this helps.

  5. Have you tried making this ahead and freezing it, then serving as a slush? I’m wondering what alterations I would have to make to the recipe for that to work.

    1. Interesting idea! I have not, but I’m thinking I would follow instructions but leave out the soda water until you served. Otherwise freezing could kill the fizz. Also keeping the bourbon in it may prevent it from completely freezing. Not sure if this would help or hurt.