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+ servings
cocktail with mint and lemon garnish

Smash Hit – Starter Whiskey Smash

Picture of Heather Wibbels, Cocktail Contessa, pouring a cocktailHeather Wibbels
Step into the flavors of summer with this easy whiskey smash. Combining lemon, simple syrup, mint leaves and whiskey, this is an easy cocktail to adjust to the fruits and sweeteners you have on hand at home. Your choice whether to strain or dump into the glass. In fact, you can also build this cocktail directly in the glass. See the notes section below for more information on that.
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Course Drinks
Cuisine Bourbon Cocktail
Servings 1


  • ½ lemon, quartered
  • 1 oz simple syrup (I used vanilla simple syrup)
  • 8-10 mint leaves
  • 2 oz bourbon (I used 100 proof Old Forester)
  • Garnish: mint sprig


  • Place quartered half lemon and simple syrup in the bottom of a shaker. Muddle to release the lemon juice. Add 8-10 mint leaves and muddle just 2 or three times more – lightly. Add the bourbon, fill with ice and shake vigorously until the outside of the tin is so cold it’s hard to hold. Strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice and garnish with a lemon wheel and a fresh sprig or two of mint.


Recipe for Vanilla simple syrup: combine 1 c sugar with 1 cup warm water and 2 tsp vanilla extract or the scraped pod of 1 vanilla bean. Shake or still until fully dissolved and keep in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.
To build in the glass, place the lemons and simple syrup in the bottom of the large old fashioned glass. Muddle until the lemon juice is expressed. Add the mint and muddle just a few more times. Add whiskey and ice and stir until well combined. Garnish as above. The drink mellows as the crushed ice melts.
Keyword bourbon cocktail, lemon, mint, whiskey smash
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!