This Blackberry Bourbon Smash is a berry twist on the classic Mint Julep. It's made with muddled mint, juicy blackberries, and lemon wedges then shaken with a generous splash of oaky bourbon. All you need is 5 simple ingredients to enjoy this fresh cocktail at home.
📋 About the Recipe
- Ready in 10 minutes. Save your money and enjoy a restaurant quality cocktail at home with little effort and affordable ingredients.
- Possible to make without bar tools or a homemade mixology kit. Prepare this bourbon smash just as easily in a mason jar. No need to own any bar tools.
- Make for 1 or for a group. This recipe is written to make one blackberry bourbon smash, but it is very easy to double or triple the ingredients and make a few cocktails at once. Make as many as you need! Or if you are looking for pitcher-sized homemade mixed drink, try my Red, White, and Blue Sangria or Blueberry Vodka Lemonade.
A few notes about the ingredients:
- Blackberries - Fresh blackberries are essential to creating the freshest tasting blackberry smash. The more ripe your berries are, the more flavorful your cocktail will be.
- Bourbon - Bourbon has a distinct deep flavor with notes of oak, vanilla, and a slightly sweet caramel undertone. It is generally sweeter tasting than whiskey, which compliments the sweetness in the fresh blackberries.
- Lemons - The acidity in the lemons balances the sweetness in the berries and bourbon and adds a lightness to this boozy blackberry smash. Make sure to use the entire lemon wedge because the oils in the lemon rind hold a lot of additional flavor.
- Maple syrup - The caramel and nutty undertones in maple syrup pair well with the bourbon and help take the bite away from the alcohol.
- Mint - Fresh mint leaves help keep the flavor of this blackberry bourbon smash bright and refreshing.
- Place the lemon, blackberries, and mint in a cocktail shaker or a glass jar with a lid.
- Muddle the fruit - Smash the berries, lemon wedge, and mint leaves together until the berries resemble jam. The lemon and mint should also be aromatic.
- On top of the muddled fruit and mint leaves, pour the bourbon, maple syrup, and ice cubes.
- Add the lid to your shaker or glass jar and shake the blackberry bourbon smash together vigorously to mesh the ingredients.
- Strain into a drinking glass over ice.
- Top with sparkling water or club soda. Garnish with additional fresh mint and blackberries and enjoy immediately.
⁉️ Substitutions and Alterations
- Out of blackberries? Try using blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries. All are great substitutes.
- Out of maple syrup? Use agave nectar, honey, or simple syrup. Or use my blueberry simple syrup for an even stronger berry flavor.
- Love the flavor of mint? Muddle both the leaves and stems for an even more pronounced bright, mint flavor.
❄️ How to Store
To store: This blackberry bourbon smash is best served immediately. However, leftover cocktails can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 day in an airtight jar or container. If possible, remove the ice before storing to prevent the drink from becoming watered down.
Bourbon is a type of whiskey, but all whiskeys are not bourbon. The main difference between bourbon and whiskey is the way that bourbon is prepared. In order for a whiskey to be considered bourbon, it must be produced in the United States, be made from 51% corn, and aged in oak barrels.
Bourbon will not freeze because of the high alcohol content. Although it may be tempting to store your bourbon in the freezer for a very chilled cocktail, doing so can cause the bourbon to lose flavor overtime. Bourbons do best when stored at room temperature.
Muddling fruit or mint when making cocktails simply means mashing them lightly until their juices and fragrances are released. This is done to help make the cocktail, like this blackberry bourbon smash, as flavorful as possible.
Yes! If you do not have a proper muddler from a mixology kit, you can still muddle the fruit and mint at home with common kitchen tools. Try using the handle of a wooden spatula or serving utensil, a rolling pin, a mortar and pestle, or even a coffee grounds tamper.
💭 One More Tip
Keep in mind that the longer you shake the blackberry bourbon smash in the cocktail shaker, the stronger the flavor will be.
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Blackberry Bourbon Smash
- 2 lemon wedges (about ⅓ of a lemon)
- 5 mint leaves plus extra for garnish
- 10 blackberries plus extra for garnish
- 2 ounces bourbon (4 tablespoons)
- 1 ounce pure maple syrup (2 tablespoons) can also use simple syrup or agave
- sparkling water or club soda
- Add lemon wedges, mint leaves, and blackberries to a cocktail shaker or glass.
- Muddle until mostly smashed, about 10 times.
- Pour in bourbon, maple syrup, and ice. Top with the lid of the shaker and make sure it is secure.
- Shake vigorously to combine all the flavors.
- Strain into a glass filled with ice.
- Top with sparkling water or club soda. Garnish with additional fresh mint and blackberries.
- Add whole lemon wedges to the cocktail shaker. This will add additional flavor from the oils in the skin.
- Other berries will work too. Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are all great options.
- Adjust the servings for measurements to make multiple drinks.
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