First off, is it whisky or whiskey and what is the difference? I never know! According to Wikipedia it is a spelling difference between Scotts (whisky) and the Irish (whiskey). And apparently, American whiskey also uses the “e”. So since we use good old bourbon in this cocktail, I guess Blackberry Whiskey Smash it is!
Anyway, as readers may recall, I have graduated from only drinking vodka and rum to drinking the brown stuff. But Manhattan’s aren’t exactly what I want to drink when it is a million degrees and so humid you will sweat the moment you walk outside here in Northern Virginia (I am so sorry for every time I complained about it being to hot in Seattle, I had no idea). When K and I were in New Orleans in May, we had a drink at the gorgeous Sazerac Bar in the Roosevelt Hotel and I had a delicious drink with Whiskey and blackberries. There it was called the Southern Gentleman and it was lovely. So when we were looking for a lighter whiskey drink we decided to recreate something similar.
Enter the Whiskey Smash, a delicious and refreshing cocktail that does require a bit of special equipment. While the drink only has one spirit and only simple syrup as a mixer, it is a little more complicated than I prefer for an every day drink. It requires crushed ice, there is just no way around it. You can either use your ice maker if you have one that crushes ice (and I hate you) or your blender or a hand crank. Or you could probably use a ziplock bag and a meat mallet but I wouldn’t recommend that unless you are very confident. The crushed ice is integral to watering down the otherwise super strong drink, but in a pinch you could serve it on the rocks. It may not be as light and refreshing as it would be with crushed ice, but you have been warned!
This drink could easily be made with any spirit, vodka, gin, or rum if whiskey isn’t your thing. Start by muddling some mint leaves (the recipe we started with said seven and so I usually use seven but that is weirdly specific), so I would say between six and eight depending on the size, half a lemon quartered, a couple blackberries and half and ounce simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. If you didn’t have a muddler you could use the handle of a wooden spoon. Add two ounces of whiskey and transfer to a double old fashioned glass with lots of crushed ice. We use Maker’s Mark but any bourbon would work perfectly in this cocktail. Garnish the crap out of this baby with mint sprigs and a couple blackberries. This is a great, light tasting cocktail, perfect for summer drinking outside. That is unless you live in the Commonwealth of Virginia where you drink it in your air conditioned home!
Blackberry Whiskey Smash
Handful of mint leaves
1/2 lemon, quartered
3 to 4 blackberries
1/2 oz simple syrup
2 oz whiskey
Muddle all ingredients except whiskey in a cocktail shaker. Add whiskey and pour stirred cocktail over crushed ice. Garnish. Enjoy.