If you haven’t considered combining blueberry and tequila this Blueberry Tequila Smash will change your mind. It’s a riff on a classic smash: a little citrus, a little mint, with a bit of added blueberries and mint for muddling and a healthy pour of tequila and wow. Look at that color. I promise you, it really is that beautiful shade of fuscia-purple!
I’m not generally a tequila girl, but playing with Espanita’s reposado is seriously changing that. It’s not that I don’t like tequila, it’s that I never really tried playing with it beyond just a standard margarita. But having the time and inclination to celebrate National Tequila Day on Friday meant that I really got to think about flavors.
Of course, lime and citrus always go well with tequila, that’s no surprise. But the fact that the blueberries, with that hint of tartness, plenty of sweetness and gorgeous color would play so well? That was a surprise. I don’t generally hear about blueberry margaritas. Mostly people stick close to home with the classics of strawberry or raspberry.
I’m now thinking a blueberry frozen margarita with a package of wild blueberries I have in my freezer might be a great cocktail in the making.
I had originally thought I’d tweak the mojito and change out the base to tequila, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought I wanted just a touch of muddled mint, not a lot of mint simple syrup overwhelming the more delicate flavors in a good tequila.
This cocktail would work amazing with blanco as well as reposado. In fact, the color would be more brilliant with blanco tequila. If you try it, comment below and let me know.
A traditional smash doesn’t generally need bitters. I find that when I’m making a smash and include the citrus in the form of slices or wedges to be muddled in the bottom of the shaker much of the bitterness from the zest is expressed. In a way, the citrus oil becomes the bitters and layers on the more striking lime zest notes – including that bitterness.
But I absolutely wanted the mint in the mix here. One, because I have a huge bed of mint that I can’t make nearly enough cocktails with. And two, mint and blueberries are a wonderful flavor combination.
Remember that when muddling mint you’ll need to go gentle so that it doesn’t become bitter as you muddle. That’s why, when I’m working with mint, I muddle everything without the mint, then add the mint after tearing it. I muddle again briefly, just 3 or 4 times to get that mint essence flowing.
Then add the base spirit, ice and shake away.
Now, after I made the cocktail, I did want to see how it tasted with just a tiny bit of mezcal in it for the smoke. Turns out a half barspoon or so will transform the cocktail. If you’re not a peaty, smoky cocktail person, absolutely omit it. It is a fabulous cocktail without.
But if you want to add that little bit of smoke, just the tiniest bit, less than a barspoon, is all you need.
If you like other tequila recipes, this week I’ve got the Mango Basil Margarita and a Peppercorn Paloma.
Blueberry Tequila Smash
- 1 ½ oz blueberries measured in a jigger
- ½ oz simple syrup
- ½ regular-sized lime cut into quarters
- ½ oz lime juice (optional as needed depending on the size of your lime above)
- 9 leaves of mint, torn
- 2 oz tequila I used Espanita Reposado
- ½ barspoon mezcal very optional
- Garnish: mint leaf, fresh blueberries, lemon or lime wheel, dehydrated
- In the bottom of a mixing tin put a small handful of blueberries, enough to fill 1 ½ oz in your jigger. Add simple and cut up lime and muddle well until the blueberries are broken down. Add lime juice if needed. Add mint leaves and muddle just 3 or 4 times, lightly. Add tequila, ice and shake until very cold. Double strain into a rocks glass filled with ice if you’re feeling fancy. Or just dump into a double rocks glass, adding ice as needed. Garnish with mint, blueberries and lemon wheel.