Whiskey Smash Cocktail Recipe

Whiskey Smash Cocktail Recipe

In the realm of classic cocktails, the Whiskey Smash stands as a refreshing testament to the art of mixology. This invigorating libation combines the rich depth of whiskey with the vibrant flavors of muddled citrus and herbs, creating a harmonious medley that delights the senses.

How to Make a Whiskey Smash Recipe


To craft a Whiskey Smash cocktail, gather the following ingredients:

  • 2 oz Fat Baby Bourbon 
  • 3/4 oz Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup
  • Fresh Mint Leaves
  • Lemon Wedges
  • Ice Cubes
  • Club Soda (Soda Water)
  • Mint Sprig (for garnish)


Follow these steps to create your own revitalizing Whiskey Smash cocktail:

  1. Muddle Mint and Lemon: In a cocktail shaker, gently muddle a handful of fresh mint leaves and a couple of lemon wedges. The muddling releases the essential oils and flavors of the mint and lemon.

  2. Add Whiskey: Pour 2 oz of your preferred whiskey (bourbon or rye) into the cocktail shaker. The whiskey serves as the soul of the cocktail, contributing depth and complexity.

  3. Squeeze Lemon Juice: Using a citrus juicer, extract 3/4 oz of freshly squeezed lemon juice. The bright acidity of the lemon juice balances the richness of the whiskey.

  4. Sweeten with Simple Syrup: Add 1/2 oz of simple syrup to the shaker. Simple syrup provides the cocktail with a touch of sweetness that complements the other flavors.

  5. Shake with Ice: Fill the cocktail shaker with ice cubes and vigorously shake the mixture. The shaking chills the ingredients blends the flavors, and aerates the cocktail.

  6. Strain and Serve: Strain the cocktail into a rocks glass filled with ice cubes. The straining removes the muddled mint leaves and lemon wedges, leaving you with a smooth and well-combined drink.

  7. Top with Club Soda: Gently top the cocktail with a splash of club soda (soda water). The club soda adds effervescence and a light, bubbly texture to the cocktail.

  8. Garnish with Mint Sprig: Finish your Whiskey Smash by garnishing it with a sprig of fresh mint. This aromatic touch enhances both the visual appeal and the aromatic experience of the cocktail.

  9. Sip and Savor: Your Whiskey Smash cocktail is now ready to be enjoyed. Raise your glass, take a sip, and relish the invigorating blend of flavors that dance on your palate.

Making Simple Syrup

Before you can craft the perfect cocktail, you need to prepare a batch of Simple Syrup. Here’s a quick guide to the perfect syrup.

Classic Simple Syrup (1:1 Ratio)


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water


  1. Combine equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan.
  2. Stir over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  3. Remove from heat and let it cool.
  4. Transfer to a sealed glass container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Rich Simple Syrup (2:1 Ratio)


  • 2 cups granulated sugar (or demerara sugar)
  • 1 cup water


  1. Follow the same process as above, using a 2:1 ratio of sugar to water.
  2. Rich simple syrup is thicker and adds body to cocktails.
  3. Store it in the same way as classic simple syrup.

Quick Stovetop Method:


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar


  1. Heat 1 cup of water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat (do not boil).
  2. Add 1 cup of granulated sugar and stir until fully dissolved.
  3. Let the syrup cool to room temperature.
  4. Transfer to a glass jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Speedy Microwave Version


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar


  1. Combine water and sugar in a microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Microwave in short intervals (about 30 seconds each), stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Cool and store as usual.

Remember, simple syrup is a fantastic addition to your favorite beverages, whether you’re mixing cocktails, making mocktails, or sweetening iced tea.

The Origins of the Whiskey Smash

The Whiskey Smash is believed to have emerged in the 19th century as a close relative of the Mint Julep.

Jerry Thomas and the Early Mention

Jerry Thomas, a legendary 19th-century barkeep, is often credited with the invention of the Whiskey Smash. In his cocktail book, Bartender’s Guide (also known as Bon Vivant’s Companion), Thomas provides one of the earliest mentions of a smash.

Although he doesn’t explicitly call it a “smash,” his julep recipe lays the foundation for this category. Thomas describes the julep as a “peculiarly American beverage” popular in the South. His version includes mint leaves, white sugar, peach and common brandy, and crushed ice. However, he acknowledges that there were many variations, all of them delicious.

Harry Johnson and the Distinct Smash Recipes

Barman Harry Johnson, in his 1888 book, distinguishes the smash as a separate cocktail from the julep. Johnson’s Old Style Whiskey Smash is a casual mix of sugar, water, mint, small ice pieces, and whiskey (about 2 oz.). He serves it with seasonal fruits. His Fancy Whiskey Smash is more refined, stirred and strained into a fancy bar glass and adorned with fruit.

The cocktail's name stems from the "smashing" of fresh ingredients – typically lemon wedges and fresh herbs – which release their flavors and aromas, infusing the drink with a lively and invigorating character. Over the years, the Whiskey Smash has evolved to incorporate various whiskey styles and creative twists, making it a versatile choice for both classic enthusiasts and modern mixologists.

Final Thoughts

The Whiskey Smash is a testament to the harmonious interplay of fresh ingredients and fine spirits. With its vibrant citrus notes, fragrant herbs, and the richness of whiskey, it's a cocktail that offers a refreshing escape from the everyday. 

As you craft and sip a Whiskey Smash, you're immersing yourself in the art of cocktail creation, experiencing the delightful alchemy that occurs when simple components combine to create something truly exceptional.

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