With fresh fruit and herbs filling area produce stands, summer is the perfect time to mix up a smash. What is a smash? Imbibe provided a brief history of the cocktail in their Summer 2013 issue. The last paragraph of the article sums up a smash quite nicely:
The smash is an open-ended cocktail, freely variable and seasonally flexible. There must be ice, though you may strain it out if you prefer. There should be fruit in season, though you may use it simply as a garnish. There should be a spirit base, though you may use your spirit of choice. Mint is a classic choice, though many other herbs can work. You may want to water your smash down a little or add a spritz of seltzer. At its heart, the smash is a wonderfully forgiving and flexible drink, made for hot days, for using what’s on hand and for smashing it all together over ice for pure sipping bliss.
This month’s MxMo hosted by the lovely Stacy Markow was perfectly timed to take advantage of the season’s bounty. With my wife Becky gallivanting in Middle Georgia, I scoured the kitchen for items to smash, douse with alcohol, and top with ice.
Ultimately I elected to smash plump nectarines with fresh basil from our garden. I added a tiny bit of simple syrup for sweetness, and lime juice for a citrus zing. I topped the contents of the glass with crushed ice and then gave them a generous pour of bourbon. I used Buffalo Trace which has very nice vanilla notes. The sweetness of the nectarine worked very well with the bourbon and freshness of the basil. As an added bonus, the bourbon soaked nectarine pulp at the bottom of the glass was delicious.
Nectarine Basil Smash:
– 1/2 medium sized nectarine
– 5 basil leaves
– 1/2 tsp. simple syrup
– 1/2 tsp. lime juice
– 1 1/2 oz bourbon
Place nectarine, basil leaves, simple syrup, and lime juice in a glass. Muddle. Top with crushed ice. Add bourbon and stir. Garnish with additional basil leaves and a slice of nectarine.
For more smashing ideas, check out all the recipes mixed up during this month’s Mixology Monday.