The Blood Orange Bourbon Smash is an excellent cocktail for Fall and Winter. It’s made with rich maple syrup, sweet blood orange, and Bourbon.
Bourbon Smashes seem like a complex cocktail from craft cocktail menus. But they are easy to create at home. This delicious blood orange cocktail combines the juice of beautiful blood oranges with mint, rich maple syrup, and smooth bourbon. It’s the perfect cocktail for the Fall and Winter holidays! All you need are six simple ingredients, a cocktail shaker, and a muddler.
If you love blood oranges or bourbon cocktails, then this Blood Orange Smash is for you!
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 traditionally contains muddled fresh fruit. A Bourbon Smash is a smash made with bourbon. This Smash is a little different because it uses juice instead of muddling slices of blood orange.
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 Blood Orange Bourbon Smash recipe is a great cocktail for late fall or early winter when fresh blood oranges are in season. The sweet blood orange flavor pairs well with the rich taste of bourbon.
Ingredients for a Blood Orange Bourbon Smash
- Mint Leaves – Use fresh mint leaves to muddle for that distinct Julep flavor.
- Lemon Juice – Fresh lemon juice adds acidity and brightness to the cocktail.
- Maple Syrup – Delicious maple syrup gives the cocktail a richer flavor than just regular simple syrup. It tastes rich and caramelized, which complements the bourbon and gives this drink a Fall flavor profile.
- Blood Orange Juice – This delicious dark red juice adds the sweet blood orange flavor to this bourbon cocktail. Use bottled blood orange juice, or freshly squeezed. Whichever is easiest and most readily available to you.
- Bourbon – This rich and smooth spirit makes for a delicious and refreshing cocktail. Bourbon has notes of caramel and vanilla which pair beautifully with winter citrus. 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 always require top-shelf spirits. I used Evan Williams for this drink.
- Seltzer – Add some bubbles to this bourbon smash with a splash of seltzer or club soda. Elevate the drink by substituting ginger beer for the plain seltzer.
Cocktail Tools You’ll Need
- Muddler – You need a muddler to smash the mint leaves. It releases the flavors of the herb 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 mint leaves in the cocktail glass. This is a personal preference. The cocktail tastes great either way!
How to Make an Easy Blood Orange Bourbon Smash
This Blood Orange Smash is a delicious cocktail with a beautiful color. It’s the perfect bourbon cocktail for a chilly evening at home or by a bonfire.
Step 1 – Add 2-3 mint leaves, maple syrup, and lemon juice to the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Use a muddler to smash (aka muddle) the leaves.
Step 2 – Add bourbon and blood orange juice to the smashed mint 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 seltzer or ginger beer.
Step 5 – Garnish the cocktail with a slice of fresh blood orange and mint leaves.
What Type of Glass Do I Use?
- Lowball or Old Fashioned Glass – These glasses, also called rocks glasses, 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 Blood Orange 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 seltzer.
You may store this cocktail in the refrigerator for up to a week. However, the flavor may change and develop over time.
More Fall Cocktails to Enjoy!
Blood Orange Bourbon Smash
- mesh cocktail strainer
- 2-3 mint leaves
- 1 oz lemon juice
- 1/2 oz maple syrup
- 2 oz blood orange juice
- 2 oz Bourbon
- 2 oz seltzer
- Add 2-3 mint leaves, maple syrup, and lemon juice to the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Use a muddler to muddle the leaves.
- Add bourbon and blood orange juice.
- Add a handful of ice cubes to the shaker. Firmly place the lid on the cocktail shaker. 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 seltzer or ginger beer.
- Garnish with a slice of fresh blood orange and mint leaves.