Marisa Chafetz

Vodka • Sweet
Strawberry Smash

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The Smash is one of those light and refreshing whiskey drinks that seems like it should always be resting on the handle of a rocking chair slowly creaking back and forth on a big wraparound porch. And the fact that it dates back to Jerry Thomas’ cocktail recipe masterpieces of the late 19th century just reinforces that image.

According to cocktail historian David Wondrich, the Smash actually gets its name from the way that the ice in the shaker would “smash” the herbs, although the muddling action adds some bonus smashing to the process. For our Strawberry Smash, we added a handful of the red berries and swapped the whiskey for vodka. We like how the neutral spirit leaves plenty of room for the berries, the herbs and the citrus to shine. We also traded out the original mint for basil, which makes for a slightly savory, but no less refreshing cocktail.

As with any drink that involves muddled fruit, you should double strain this one—strain it through both a Hawthorne strainer (or the one built into your cobbler shaker) as well as through a fine mesh sieve. Otherwise you’ll end up with a chunky drink and no one wants that texture in their Smash.    

The Essentials

Simple Syrup
The Details


3 Strawberries
4 Basil Leaves, for muddling
.5 oz Lemon Juice
2 oz vodka


  • Add Strawberries, basil and lemon juice to an empty shaker tin, and muddle.
  • Add ice, simple syrup and vodka to a shaker tin with ice, and shake.
  • Double strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice.
  • Garnish with a split strawberry.

Mix it Up

If you want the whiskey and mint of the original Smash along with some sweet strawberry flavor, try our Strawberry Julep for a fruity variation on the Southern classic.

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