For me, there are some things that just belong together, like steak and bourbon. I already covered the steak this week, so now it’s time for the bourbon. I almost swooned when I found this Blackberry Bourbon Smash recipe because I also love blackberries. It simply had to be made!
While I do enjoy a sip of Bourbon every now and then, I would never call myself an actual bourbon lover. But once I smashed and swirled up a BBS or Blackberry Bourbon Smash, I was surprised at how much I loved it, plus it didn’t hurt that it was really fun to make.
A quick trip to the grocery store for fresh blackberries and mint, and I was ready to make my blackberry bourbon smash. The blog post that accompanied the post mentioned using shaved ice, but I decided not to go that route. The store that carries it (Whole Foods) was pretty far out of my way, and who makes a special trip just for ice? I decided to use crushed ice with a bit of extra crushing courtesy of my meat mallet. I was hoping that would give me a similar texture to the ice described in the author’s post.
The instructions for this cocktail recipe were simple, it was quick to make (just 3 minutes), but they lacked specific quantities for everything except the bourbon. I decided to experiment with it over a few nights to find the right combination for me.
My first try used 8 blackberries, 1 spring of mint leaves, and 1 ounce of simple syrup (recipe below). I discovered 2 things after I made it. First, 1 ounce of simple syrup was too sweet for me. The second was this drink needs to be stirred well, otherwise, you end up sipping the bourbon away and end up with very sweet fruit juice.
For the second try, I used the same amount of fruit and mint and reduced the simple syrup to 1/2 ounce. I also made sure to stir this one well, and I really liked the result. The bourbon was still the main flavor, but it was also sweet and fruity.
My final try used 4 blackberries, 1 spring of mint, and 1/4 ounce (1 1/2 teaspoons) of simple syrup. This was the perfect mix! I could still taste the fruit, it had a touch of sweetness, and I could taste the mint in this version. I really enjoyed sipping this cocktail. So much that I made a second.
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar of your choice (I use organic sugar, which gives the syrup an amber tinge)
- In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium and add the sugar. Stir until dissolved (the mixture will become clear when the sugar is dissolved).
- Remove from heat and allow to cool. The simple syrup can be refrigerated in a bottle or other airtight container for up to 4 weeks.