The smash cocktail is over a century old. It is probably one of the easiest drinks to make and every bartender knows how to do it. (If not, you’re in the wrong bar).
The smash is the sister-drink to the julep but in the modern recipes using fruit – in this case, lemon – it would be a sacrilege for any Southern gentleman or lady, or one vaguely associated with the South or who just likes the South, to call it a julep.
In 1888, the bartender Harry Johnson introduced the smash as a category separate from the julep, but he never really adequately explained the difference. Typically, his cocktails were strained and served in a “fancy bar glass,” smaller than the usual julep glass.
Today, the smash category is wide open and includes seasonal fruits and herbs. Therefore, for all practical purposes, the smash is a “style” of drink as opposed to being an actual recipe for a drink.
Makes 1 cocktail
2 oz Bourbon whiskey
1 oz Simple syrup (1 to 1 ratio)
1/4 Lemon, cut up into 2-3 pieces
3-4 Full sprigs of mint (or to taste)
Place mint and lemon in a mixing glass. Muddle to release juices and oils (don’t bruise the mint). Add simple syrup and whiskey. Add ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a mint sprig.
Simple, refreshing and tasty.