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.