This Blueberry Bourbon Smash is made with a quick and easy blueberry syrup and fresh basil leaves. It's a blueberry cocktail that's perfect for hot summer days!
Awhile back, the husband and I made another weekend road trip to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
While we wandered around distillery gift shops and waited for our tours, I had lots of time to read the cocktail recipes that were plastered all over the gift shops.
In particular, a recipe for a pineapple basil julep at Jim Beam caught my eye. The recipe was a little complicated, but a fruit and basil julep sounded FABULOUS.
When we got home, I started playing bartender.
Except, I don’t know how to do any fancy bartender bottle-spinning moves, and I’m not very good at listening without interrupting, so maybe I’m NOT an awesome bartender.
After trying a few different fruity julep recipes "for science," I landed on this — a Blueberry Bourbon Smash.
What is a Bourbon Smash Cocktail? Is This Similar to a Julep?
A smash cocktail is basically any cocktail with herbs. So you might say that a mint julep is a type of smash.
Want to try a classic julep? Learn How to Make a Mint Julep.
Do I Need Special Equipment?
Nope! You might want a cocktail muddler, but you can push the basil leaves around with the end of a wooden spoon instead.
How to Make a Bourbon Smash
For this basil smash, we're using a blueberry simple syrup. Start by making the quick and easy syrup with blueberries, sugar, and water.
All sorts of flavors of simple syrup are wonderful in cocktails, like this honey old fashioned!
Next, you should strain the blueberries through a mesh sieve or a cheesecloth, but I prefer to put the syrup into a blender. The syrup won’t be quite as crystal clear, but it’s easy, fast, and delicious. After you strain or blend the syrup, set it aside to cool.
Next, muddle basil leaves with a little bit of blueberry syrup in a chilled old fashioned glass or julep cup.
Fill the glass with shaved ice, pour in the bourbon, and stir! Add a little sparkling water, tonic water, or club soda if you want some fizz and sparkle.
Top it all off with a few more basil leaves, and enjoy this icy summer cocktail!
Want more SUMMER DRINKS? Try these:
- Infused Water with Herbs, Fruit, + Citrus
- Strawberry Lemonade with Lavender
- Cherry Chocolate Chip Milkshake
Blueberry Bourbon Smash
Blueberry Simple Syrup:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup blueberries
Blueberry Bourbon Smash (1 cocktail):
- 3-4 basil leaves, plus more for garnish
- 2 tablespoons blueberry simple syrup
- 2 ounces bourbon
- crushed ice
- Optional: sparkling water, club soda, or tonic water
- Make simple syrup by adding blueberries, sugar, and 1 cup water to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the berries burst (about 3 minutes).
- Pour syrup into blender and blend until smooth (or pour through a mesh sieve into a spouted container), and allow it to cool.
Blueberry Bourbon Smash:
- Chill an old-fashioned cocktail glass or mint julep cup.
- Muddle basil leaves and simple syrup until leaves look softened and smell very fragrant.
- Fill glass with crushed ice, then pour bourbon over ice. Stir once or twice, add sparkling water, club soda, or tonic water if desired. Top with more basil, and serve immediately.