Home » Cocktail Recipes » Tart and Savory Symphony – the Blackberry Sage Smash

Tart and Savory Symphony – the Blackberry Sage Smash

5 from 1 vote

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Last Updated on June 25, 2022 by Heather Wibbels

magenta cocktail garnished with sage
Blackberry Sage Smash

Summer is coming and we’re looking to summer flavors to create this Blackberry Sage Smash. To celebrate, let’s create a new smash recipe combining the best berry of summer, the blackberry, with fresh sage leaves – which have already started growing for the season.

For more about the Whiskey Smash and how to make it see here.

(Post may contain affiliate links.)

Ingredients in a Blackberry Smash

A basic whiskey smash has just a few ingredients, and for a smash, all the ingredients are meant to be seasonal and just gathered at hand. In this case, I used fresh blackberries, but they are also delicious with frozen blackberries that have thawed. Smashes aren’t about being gorgeous and perfect. They’re about simple, fast and seasonal.

Here’s what you’ll need to make this smash:

  • Whiskey (this is also amazing with tequila)
  • Citrus wedges (I used orange)
  • Blackberries
  • Blackberry liqueur (optional)
  • Sage
  • Blackberry or plain simple syrup (optional, and to taste)

For this smash, I originally used oranges and whiskey, however, I have also tested this with limes and tequila and both combinations are mouthwatering. If you’re not from a whiskey household, use rum or tequila or any spirit you’ve got at hand. You might want to tweak the amount of sweetener or sugar you use based on the spirit, but as always, you should be taste testing your cocktail before you serve.

If you substitute lime or lemon for the orange in the cocktail you will need to add simple syrup or blackberry-infused simple syrup.

magenta cocktail garnished with sage
Blackberry Sage Smash

Why Sage Works in this Blackberry Whiskey Smash

If you don’t have sage, this works beautifully with mint or basil.

The wonderful thing about sage is that it’s a savory herb, but it plays well with sweet and sour flavors. It’s also not as fragile as mint so it stands up to a bit more muddling without getting too bitter. If you’ve got a sage bush at home I highly recommend incorporating it into some smashes this week, couple with the sourness of the lemon and the blackberry it’s a winner.

magenta cocktail garnished with sage
Blackberry Sage Smash

Be Sure to Taste Test your Whiskey Smash

One note about citrus: the size and tartness of citrus varies wildly. I highly recommend taste testing the cocktail before you add a little ice for your shake. Dilution will sweeten up your cocktail a bit, but if you taste test after a stir or swirl and it seems overly tart, add a little simple syrup to the cocktail before shaking. If you forget to taste test and the cocktail’s a little tart after serving, add a splash of whatever simple you’ve got to sweeten it up in the glass.

Other Whiskey Smashes to Try

Recommended Bar Tools

You don’t need every slick, beautiful bar tool out there, but there are several I’ll recommend. (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. However, that does not affect the cost of the items below.) My favorite pieces usually come from the Cocktail Kingdom section of Amazon:

You may already have these bar essentials, but just in case:

magenta cocktail garnished with sage

Blackberry Sage Smash – Smashed to Pieces

Picture of Heather Wibbels, Cocktail Contessa, pouring a cocktailHeather Wibbels
Pair the tartness of blackberries with the savory aroma of sage for this Blackberry Sage Smash – it’s a surprising combination of flavors that delights. If you’re out of sage, try mint or basil as excellent substitutions. And if you’re out of whiskey tequila is a fantastic spirit here – especially if you add a lime in as the sour element.
5 from 1 vote
Course Drinks
Cuisine Bourbon Cocktail
Servings 1


  • 5 large blackberries (I used frozen ones I had defrosted)
  • 1 slice orange (substitute 2 slices of lime if you’re using tequila as the base)
  • 1 oz blackberry simple syrup**
  • 5 sage leaves
  • ½ oz blackberry liqueur
  • 2 oz whiskey (tequila is an excellent substitute as well)
  • Garnish: sage sprig and blackberries


  • Combine the berries and citrus slices in the bottom of a shaking tin add blackberry syrup and muddle to press the juices from the berries.
  • Add the sage leaves and muddle lightly again.
  • Add the blackberry liqueur and your base spirit.
  • Add ice and shake vigorously, until the shaker is so cold it’s hard to hold – about 10-12 seconds.
  • Strain into a rocks glass filled with cracked ice and add a mound of ice to the top.
  • Take a leaf of sage and rub the rim of the glass to get some of the sage aroma/flavor on there.
  • Garnish with a sage sprig and a blackberry or two.


**Blackberry Simple Syrup:
  • 2 cups frozen blackberries
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
Combine ingredients in a small saucepan and cook until the blackberries are thawed, soft and very juicy.
As the blackberries cook down a bit, press on the berries to release the juice.
Stir until the sugar is all dissolved and the blackberries have turned a bit purple.
Let the syrup cool and strain out the pulp from the blackberries.
Store the syrup in the fridge and save the strained out sweetened blackberries to eat on ice cream.
Keyword blackberry, lime, orange, tequila, whiskey smash
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
By on April 15th, 2020
Picture of Heather Wibbels, Cocktail Contessa, pouring a cocktail

About Heather Wibbels

Heather Wibbels is a whiskey and cocktail author (Executive Bourbon Steward, no less) with a passion for cocktails. She loves researching and designing cocktails, drinking cocktails, and teaching cocktails. Mostly whiskey cocktails, given her Kentucky location.

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