Disclosure: This recipe for a Cherry Lime Bourbon Smash contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I received complimentary Traverse City Whiskey to help make this recipe.
Celebrate your upcoming special occasion by indulging in this refreshing summer cocktail recipe, our sweet and tangy Cherry Lime Bourbon Smash.
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Pucker up and enjoy the sweet tastes of summer with this Cherry Lime Bourbon Smash! This delicious cocktail is a phenomenal way to quench your thirst on a hot spring or summer day while indulging in the rich and balanced flavor combination of cherry infused bourbon, aromatic mint and zesty lime.
This fruity concoction is an explosion of cherry flavor and the perfect beverage for any occasion. So, whether you’re hosting a backyard BBQ, Kentucky Derby watch party or simply relaxing by the pool, this refreshing bourbon smash recipe is sure to impress. Grab a cocktail shaker, some ice, and let’s get mixing!
Helpful Tips and Information:
What is a Bourbon Smash?
A Bourbon Smash is a classic cocktail that is similar to a mint julep. However, a bourbon smash contains fruit, usually citrus, as well as bourbon whiskey, fresh mint leaves and simple syrup.
A Bourbon Smash is typically prepared by muddling the mint leaves and lemon wedges in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Then ice, bourbon whiskey and your sweetener of choice is added and shaken vigorously.
Next, this whiskey cocktail is strained into a glass filled with additional crushed ice and garnished with a sprig of fresh mint and a lemon wedge.
The combination of the refreshing citrus and mint, paired with the bold and complex flavors of bourbon whiskey, make for a pleasant and flavorful summer cocktail that is enjoyed by many.
What is the difference between bourbon and whiskey?
Both bourbon and whiskey are distilled alcohol made from a fermented mash of grains. However, whiskey can be made from any grain including wheat, rye, corn and barley. The whiskey is then aged in oak barrels for two to six months.
Meanwhile, bourbon is a whiskey made from at least 51% corn mash. “Straight” bourbon is then barrel aged in charred oak barrels for at minimum two years, while other general bourbon products can be aged for as little as three months.
History of the bourbon smash:
It is believed that the Bourbon Smash originated in the mid 1800’s. The cocktail gained popularity in 1862 when it was introduced in Jerry Thomas’s cocktail recipe book, “The Bartender’s Guide,” which was the first official known cocktail recipe book published in the United States.
Then in the early 1990’s, bartender Dale DeGroff, brought back the classic cocktail and began serving a Whiskey Smash at the Rainbow Room in New York City. This reinvigorated interest in the bourbon smash and introduced it to a new generation of whisky enthusiasts.
Today, the Bourbon Smash is still widely popular and continues to be a timeless classic.
What are the ingredients needed to make a Cherry Lime Bourbon Smash?
As, explained above, a classic Bourbon Smash recipe has bourbon, lemon, mint and simple syrup. However, our Cherry Lime Bourbon Smash contains the following ingredients:
Cherry infused bourbon whiskey – In our Cherry Lime Bourbon Smash we used Traverse City Whiskey Co. American Cherry Edition Bourbon Whiskey, which is a cherry infused bourbon whiskey. We feel like this is the best bourbon for a smash. Because the cherry bourbon is naturally sweeter, we did not add any additional sweetener to our cocktail recipe, however, you could add a little simple syrup or agave nectar, if additional sweetness is desired.
Ingredient substitute: If you can’t find cherry infused bourbon whiskey, you could substitute 2 ounces of your favorite bourbon and add 1 ounce real cherry juice.
Mint leaves – You will muddle fresh mint in the cocktail shaker as well as use them as a garnish.
Fresh lime juice – Fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges are both used in this recipe.
Sparkling water – This is just to finish the cocktail off and add a little bubbly.
Premium Cocktail Cherries – Don’t skip on the cherry garnish! We highly recommend using premium cocktail cherries, as the flavor can’t be beat and doesn’t even compare to those maraschino cherries you typically see at the grocery store! We like Traverse City Whiskey Co. Premium Cocktail Cherries or Luxardo Maraschino Cherries.
How to make a Bourbon Smash?
Place mint leaves and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker. Use a muddler to crush the mint and lemon juice to release the mint oils.
Add ice and bourbon whiskey. Top cocktail shaker with lid and shake vigorously for 20-30 seconds.
Strain into a cocktail glass filled with ice. Garnish as desired with additional mint and lemon wedges.
How can I make a non-alcoholic version of a Cherry Lime Bourbon Smash?
To make a Cherry Lime Bourbon Smash Mocktail, omit the cherry infused bourbon and replace it with 2-ounces fresh cherry juice. Continue with the recipe as directed, adding additional sparkling water as needed.
If you like this Cherry Lime Bourbon Smash, then you’ll love these other drink recipes:
Raspberry Mojito Recipe – This refreshing Raspberry Mojito Recipe is the perfect cocktail for your end of summer soirée or Labor Day backyard barbecue!
Coffee Bourbon Milkshake – Take your Friday night happy hour to the next level with this cool and creamy Coffee Bourbon Milkshake!
Grapefruit Sage Spritzer – This refreshing seasonal sparkling grapefruit cocktail recipe, with vodka, elderflower liqueur, fresh sage and grapefruit juice is the perfect drink to cheers to the weekend!
- 4 mint leaves
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 oz cherry infused bourbon whiskey
- Ice, as needed
- Sparkling water, as needed
- Fresh mint leaves
- Lime slices
- Premium cocktail cherries
- Place 4 mint leaves and lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Use a muddler to crush the mint and lime juice to release the mint oils.
- Add ice and cherry infused bourbon whiskey. Top cocktail shaker with lid and shake vigorously for 20-30 seconds.
- Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice and top with sparkling water. Garnish as desired with additional mint, lime wedges and premium cocktail cherries.
*PLEASE SEE THE "HELPFUL TIPS AND INFORMATION" SECTION ABOVE FOR ADDITIONAL RECIPE NOTES.