A refreshing raspberry whiskey cocktail with bourbon and fresh fruit. Add raspberry ale for even more flavor and gorgeous color or use soda water instead. (We like to make it with Raspberry Provincial Sour Ale but give you other options).
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This is an incredibly refreshing mixed drink that commands a richness of flavor above and beyond that of the original. The fresh, ripe raspberries in combination with the fizziness of the carbonated drink create a wonderful mouthfeel. We choose not to strain our raspberry bourbon smash because of that, but you can certainly opt for the opposite and stick to the origins of the classic drink.
What is a Whiskey Smash?
A classic whiskey smash is an old fashioned all American cocktail made with bourbon whiskey, lemon, mint, and sugar. The lemon wedges, fresh spearmint leaves and sugar are muddled (smashed) together, the bourbon is added and the cocktail is shaken with ice, then strained into a glass with ice. Over time the sugar gave way to simple syrup and crushed ice (partially) to club soda.
The raspberry is a relatively new whiskey smash variation.
- Bourbon. Use your favorite brand or one with rye in the grain bill as it will have more fruity and spicy notes.
- Fresh mint. The key element for any smash cocktail, in this case more is more – do not hesitate to be generous with the amount of mint you muddle. Not only does mint elevate the notes of bourbon whiskey, it is a perfect match for raspbeeries.
- Raspberries. Fresh fruit is a much better option, but you can use an organic raspberry preserve if in a pinch. Just skip the sweetener if you take the preserve route.
- Lime. Its milder acidity compared to that of lemon makes it a much better fit for raspberries which carry a certain degree of tartness.
- Simple syrup or agave. Either one will do the job, it is a matter of personal preference. We always have agave syrup, whereas we only make simple syrup once in a while.
- Raspberry ale or soda. A well brewed raspberry ale cannot be outmatched – it adds a lot of flavor and contributes to a richer mouthfeel.
Types of Raspberry Ales You Can Use
- Raspberry wheat ales – typically very highly carbonated
- Raspberry blonde ales
- Raspberry Kolsch – not the easiest to find but if you happen upon one try it in this cocktail
- Raspberry Sour(s) – nothing too puckery, we love the Raspberry Provincial by Funkwerks Brewing – among other things its color is a striking pink!
- Framboise – Belgian lambic ale fermented with raspberries, perhaps the world’s most famous fruited sour
What Can I Use in Place of Raspberry Ale?
Substitute with a raspberry flavored soda or carbonated water. Be mindful of how sweet it is and cut down on the sweet additive accordingly.
What Can I Substitute for Bourbon?
Our top recommendation is rye whiskey for its floral and vanilla notes and pleasant spice.
Step-by-step: Bourbon Whiskey Smash with Raspberries
To make a raspberry whiskey smash:
- in a cocktail shaker muddle the raspberries and mint (or raspberry preserve and mint)
- add the bourbon, agave and lime juice
- top with crushed ice and shake vigorously to blend the flavors
- pour into a glass (if straining, add crushed ice to glass first)
- top with raspberry ale, stir and enjoy garnished with a sprig of mint
How do I Muddle Raspberries?
Truth be told – this cocktail is much easier to sip on from a wider glass than a tall skinny one. Even though it arguably looks better in a highball, go for a classic, old-fashioned rocks glass instead.
Other Cocktails You Might Like
- 8-10 fresh raspberries*
- 8-10 fresh mint leaves (spearmint recommended)
- 1 1/2 oz bourbon whiskey
- 1/2 lime, juice of
- 1/2 tbsp agave syrup (or simple syrup**)
- 2-4 oz raspberry ale or soda***
- In a cocktail shaker muddle the raspberries and mint leaves.
- Add the bourbon, agave syrup and lime juice. Top with crushed ice, close the lid and shake vigorously.
- Strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice OR simply pour the entire mixture into a glass. (Choose according to your preference for a clear cocktail or a richer mixture.)
- Top with the raspberry ale or soda, give a final stir and garnish with a mint sprig.
For this cocktail you will need a muddler, cocktail shaker, crushed ice and a stirrer.
*substitute with 1 tbsp of organic raspberry preserve and skip the sweetener
**to make simple syrup bring to boil 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water. Stir until sugar completely dissolved, remove from heat and allow to cool down completely before use. Store refrigerated.
***see notes in post above for potential choices
If you want to increase the potency of the cocktail you can always increase the bourbon from 1 1/2 oz to 2 oz. Keep in mind that raspberry ales can range from as low as 4.5% ABV to as high as 8.5% or even 9% for certain imperial versions - consider the alcohol content of the ale in combination with the bourbon.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 370Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 49mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 9gSugar: 44gProtein: 4g