A blackberry bourbon smash is a delicious cocktail for sipping. It’s made with blackberries, mint, bourbon, syrup, and blackberry seltzer.
Bourbon Smashes are a fun cocktail found on craft cocktail menus. But they are easy to create at home. A homemade smash with fresh blackberries, smooth bourbon, and mint leaves is the perfect drink to transition from the hot days of summer to crisp fall nights. All you need are six simple ingredients, a cocktail shaker, and a muddler.
This delicious drink is great for a bourbon lover or a fruity cocktail fan. Try it for your next firepit gathering and impress your guests.
What Is a Bourbon Smash?
A “Smash” cocktail is a type of Julep. Juleps are a classic cocktail made with spirits, mint, and sugar. But the difference between the two is that a Smash also contains muddled fruit. A Bourbon Smash is a smash made with bourbon.
Many different fruits are used in Smashes. The most popular are fresh berries or pitted fruits. But this is also a great drink for seasonal fruit. This Blackberry Bourbon Smash recipe is a great cocktail for early fall or late summer when fresh blackberries are in season. The sweet blackberry flavor pairs well with the rich taste of bourbon.
Ingredients for a Blackberry Bourbon Smash
- Blackberries – Muddled fresh blackberries are best for this cocktail. Wash the berries with baking soda to help cleanse away additional dirt or debris from the fruit. Otherwise it will end up in your drink! Thawed frozen blackberries are a great alternative to fresh.
- Mint – Use fresh mint leaves to muddle with the blackberries.
- Lemon Juice – Fresh lemon juice adds acidity and brightness to the cocktail.
- Syrup – Simple syrup adds sweetness to the cocktail. It helps balance the tart blackberries. Maple syrup is also a great alternative because the rich flavor complements bourbon.
- Bourbon – This rich and smooth spirit makes for a delicious and refreshing cocktail. Bourbon has notes of caramel and vanilla which pair beautifully with berries. Use your favorite bourbon or a mid-shelf brand like Maker’s Mark or Four Roses. More affordable bourbon whiskey brands include Evan Williams and Jim Bean. A good bourbon cocktail doesn’t require top-shelf spirits. I used Evan Williams for this drink.
- Blackberry Seltzer – Enhance the blackberry flavor of this Smash with a blackberry seltzer! It takes the cocktail to the next level. You can use regular club soda or ginger ale if you don’t have blackberry soda water available.
Cocktail Tools You’ll Need
- Muddler – You need a muddler to smash the blackberries and mint leaves. It releases the flavors of the fruit and leaves into the cocktail.
- Strainer (Optional) – I don’t like chunky cocktails. So I prefer to use a strainer to remove them from my drinks. However, many people like the additional flavor of having the smashed fruit and leaves in the cocktail glass. This is a personal preference. The cocktail tastes great either way!
How to Make a Blackberry Bourbon Smash
Blackberry season is from late summer to early fall. This makes a blackberry cocktail especially delicious in those early fall days. It is a great drink for bourbon or fruity drink lovers alike. And the cocktail is easy to make at home with minimal ingredients.
Step 1 – Add half a cup of juicy blackberries, 3-4 mint leaves, and lemon juice to the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Use a muddler to smash (aka muddle) the fruit and leaves.
Step 2 – Add bourbon and syrup to the smashed blackberry mixture.
Step 3 – Add a handful of ice cubes to the shaker. Then firmly place the lid on the cocktail shaker. Shake for 30 seconds to combine the cocktail ingredients and chill them.
Step 4 – Use a mesh strainer to strain the cocktail into a glass over ice. Top with blackberry seltzer.
Step 5 – Garnish the cocktail with fresh blackberries on a food pick and mint leaves.
What Type of Glass Do I Use?
- Lowball or Old Fashioned Glass – These glasses, also called a rocks glass, are short and sturdy. They are typically thicker than the standard cocktail glass so that you can muddle in the glass directly. They have a wide mouth that lets the cocktail breathe. And so the drinker can inhale the smells of the spirits as they drink.
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Can I Make This Blackberry Smash in Advance?
Yes! This simple cocktail is great for making ahead of time! Combine all of the ingredients except the seltzer, without ice. Store in an airtight jar or glass bottle until it is time to serve. Strain the cocktail when serving. After straining the stored smash over ice, top it with blackberry seltzer.
You may store this cocktail in the refrigerator for up to a week. However, the flavor profile may change a bit the longer you store it! The mint and blackberry flavors will infuse with the bourbon over time.
Enjoy this classic bourbon cocktail with sweet blackberries and a fresh mint sprig on a hot summer day, or a cool fall evening with friends.
More Berry Cocktail Recipes to Try!
- Blackberry Moonshine Sour
- Strawberry Peach Sangria
- Moonshine Blackberry Margarita
- Strawberry Frose with Tequila
Blackberry Bourbon Smash
- cocktail strainer
- 1/4 cup fresh blackberries
- 2-3 mint leaves
- 1 oz lemon juice
- 2.5 oz Bourbon
- .5 oz simple syrup
- 3 oz blackberry seltzer water
- Add blackberries, mint leaves, and lemon juice to the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Use a muddler to smash the fruit and leaves.
- Add bourbon and syrup to the smashed blackberry mixture.
- Add a handful of ice cubes to the shaker and firmly place the lid on. Shake for 30 seconds to combine the cocktail ingredients and chill them.
- Use a mesh strainer to strain the cocktail into a glass over ice. Top with blackberry seltzer.
- Garnish with blackberries on a food pick and mint leaves.