Whiskey • Sour
Whiskey Smash

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A smash is a cocktail made with crushed or shaved ice, fruit, sweetener, a base spirit and some sort of herb. The Whiskey Smash is the brainchild of Jerry Thomas, the patron saint of modern bartending, who published the recipe in his first book back in 1887. James Beard award-winning barman Dale DeGroff tipped off modern tipplers to the joys of the Whiskey Smash when he extolled the virtues of the drink in his 2008 best-seller, The Essential Cocktail. A cross between a Mint Julep and a Whiskey Sour, the Smash is a “gateway” drink — a light, refreshing entrée into the wonderful world of whiskey-based potables.

The Essentials

lemon juice
The Details


2 oz Rye Whiskey
.75 oz lemon juice
6 mint leaves
crushed ice


  • Muddle the lemon juice, simple syrup and mint leaves.
  • Add whiskey and shake with a touch of ice (should almost be a dry shake).
  • Strain into rocks glass filled halfway with crushed ice.
  • Add more crushed ice to fill the drink to the rim of the glass and garnish with a mint sprig.

Mix it Up

DeGroff, who is credited with revitalizing the Whiskey Smash at NYC’s Rainbow Room in the 1980s, recommends muddling in a couple of peach slices when in season. A dash or two of Angostura bitters also goes a long way.

Gin Sour Easy

Essentially a minty gin Daiquiri, the Southside is a remarkably easy four-ingredient cocktail that should be a go-to for every home bartender. Though most cocktail buffs and historians agree that the drink first appeared sometime around 1913, its exact history is murky. The Southside was either created in Chicago and named for the city’s South Si...