Bourbon Smash

A minty, lemony cocktail with a casual elegance, the Bourbon Smash is at home everywhere–from a summer garden party to a New Year’s Eve celebration.

Bourbon Smash

Making a Bourbon Splash was on my list for ages.  And I recently tried the trendy cocktail on a conference field trip.  Yes, while visiting a beautiful Iowa flower farm we got to stroll, drink in hand, through acres of stunning blossoms!

Pretty high on my list of how to enjoy life!

Now part of the reason that I was excited was I’d had some gifted bourbon languishing in my pantry for over a year. 

And, I figured, when life gives your bourbon, make a bourbon splash! 

bourbon smash in flower field

What is a Bourbon Smash?

The Bourbon Smash is a cocktail made with mint, lemon, bourbon, simple syrup, ice, and optionally sparkling water.  You’ll also see it called a whiskey smash, since Bourbon is a type of whiskey–and the one most commonly used in this drink.

The Bourbon Splash is a cousin to a mint julep, the darling of the Kentucky Derby set, differing in that this includes muddled lemon.

Per Wikipedia, “The name “smash” comes from the idea that on a hot day, one takes whatever fruit is on hand and smashes it all together to make a refreshing beverage.  Lemon seems to be the default but almost everything from grapefruit to blackberries has been muddled at one time or another.

Bourbon Smash

Why You’ll Love This!

Easy. Smash, pour, shake, enjoy!  How good is that!

Refreshing.  Whether you’re enjoying life outdoors in summer, or recovering from a holiday cookie baking marathon, this drink is bright and refreshing.

Delicious. Lemony and minty, the drink is as tasty as it is fresh.

Bourbon Smash

What You’ll Need

Ingredient Notes

  • Simple syrup.  This sweetens and counters the tartness of the lemon.
  • Fresh mint.  This adds flavor.
  • Lemon.  This adds lemon.
  • Bourbon. This adds flavor and alcohol.
  • Ice.  This is used both for shaking and serving.
  • Optional club soda. This is optional (but I think makes it even more refreshing).

Special Tools

  • Cocktail shaker.  This facilitates mixing the drink, though you can make this in a glass without a shaker if needed.  (Or you can even make up a pitcher!)
  • Muddler.  This will help you smash the lemon and mint to release their flavor.  You can substitute another tool if needed.  I’d probably attempt to use a long handled scoop if I didn’t have a muddler.

Step by Step Directions

Place the mint and lemon in a shaker and smash using a muddler or similar tool.

smash mint and lemon

Add simple syrup, bourbon and ice.  Shake.


Strain into an ice filled glass.  If desired, top with club soda.

top with club soda

Garnish with mint and/or lemon.

garnish with mint

How to Serve

Gotta love a drink that’s at home in a field of flowers or in a cocktail lounge.

Serve your whiskey splash over ice (crushed if you’re a perfectionist), in a rocks glass or stemless wine glass—or whatever you have on hand!  For a nice presentation (and even more flavor) garnish with additional fresh mint leaves and/or lemon.

Bourbon Smash

Variations and Special Diets

A splash is can also be made with other types of fresh fruit.  Blackberries are particularly popular.  To make a blackberry splash, just add four blackberries to the shaker and muddle them along with the lemon and mint.  ‘Cause one flavor of smash is never enough!

For a lower calorie, sugar free version you can use a sugar free syrup such as Torani instead of simple syrup.  This makes this a great drink for a low carb or keto diet.

And for another nice refreshing cocktail using Bourbon, consider this Apple Cider Mule.

Bourbon Smash 

Tips & FAQs

How do I muddle the fruit?  You want to “smash” the lemons with some vigor.  The goal is to release not only the lemon juice but also the aromatic oils in the peel.  My shaker came with a muddler which is nice to use since it’s long with an uneven bottom to facilitate this.  But I would probably have used a long handled scoop in a pinch!

Since the lemon is smashed to release the oil in the peel, I try to use organic if I can. 

What is the easiest way to make simple syrup?  Most people make simple syrup by combining equal parts sugar and water and heating until dissolved.  Then it (usually) needs to be cooled before it’s used.  But I find it much easier to simply combine the sugar and water in a high speed blender, then turn it on and mix until the sugar is dissolved.  It’s quicker, easier and there’s no wait while it cools.

And I sometimes use a premade regular or sugar free syrup. 

bourbon smash with flowers

Bourbon Splash

Bourbon Smash

A minty, lemony cocktail with a casual elegance, theBourbon Smash is at home everywhere--from a summer garden party to a New Year’sEve celebration.
Author: Inger
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Course Beverage
Cuisine American
Servings 1
Calories 223 kcal


  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 sprig mint
  • ½ lemon cut into wedges
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • Ice
  • Club Soda optional


  • Place the mint and lemon in a shaker and smash using a muddler or similar tool.
  • Add simple syrup, bourbon and ice. Shake.
  • Strain into an ice filled glass
  • If desired, top with club soda.


You'll save about 75 calories if you use a sugar free simple syrup.


Calories: 223kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 1gFat: 0.2gSaturated Fat: 0.02gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.01gSodium: 18mgPotassium: 94mgFiber: 2gSugar: 22gVitamin A: 12IUVitamin C: 29mgCalcium: 18mgIron: 1mg
I am not a health professional and nutrition data is calculated programatically. Accuracy may vary with product selection, calculator accuracy, etc. Consult a professional for the best information.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


6 thoughts on “Bourbon Smash

  1. David Scott Allen

    Have you ever tried agave syrup in place of simple syrup? We find it at a little, something extra special to cocktails. To be honest, I think I’ve only had a bourbon drink once, so need to do a little bit more exploration. And blackberry? That sounds fantastic.

    1. Inger Post author

      This time I just went with a zero sugar syrup, still trying to lose those cruise pounds. but I’ll have to give agave syrup a try David.

  2. Raymund

    5 stars
    Your Bourbon Smash post is definitely making me thirsty! Sounds like a perfect way to enjoy a beautiful summer day. I’m especially intrigued by the blackberry variation – I love a good blackberry cocktail. And thanks for the tip about blending simple syrup – that sounds like a game changer! Definitely going to try that next time.

    1. Inger Post author

      Thanks Raymund (and sorry about making you thirsty ;-)! And yes, I hated waiting for simple syrup to cool so learning the blender method was huge!

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