I wasn’t always the biggest whiskey fan. I personally like making cocktails usually more than drinking a spirit straight or over ice. So finding the right cocktails is usually the way I find how I can best enjoy any spirit. With whiskey especially, fresh ingredients like lemon and mint are the most enjoyable to my palate. I always like using fresh seasonal ingredients which may seem challenging in the winter but blood oranges are only available in the winter months where I live so they are perfect for cocktails from December to February.
What is a smash cocktail?
There’s no real wrong or right way to make a smash cocktail but it usually involves muddling fruit and herbs with a spirit. It’s one of the best ways to get creative with cocktails and fresh ingredients.
For this cocktail you will need a muddler but if you don’t have one you could use the bottom of a wooden spoon. You will also need a cocktail shaker (can substitute mason jar or metal coffee mug), something to measure with (jigger, small measuring cup or shot glass) and a knife to cut the fruit. I really love using my bar knife for cocktails.
Whiskey or Bourbon?
All bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon. Whiskeys are made from grain and aged in barrels. One thing that makes bourbon different from other whiskeys is how it is made. Bourbon is always made with at least 51% corn as well as grains. The corn helps give it a sweeter flavor. Bourbon is also aged in new charred oak barrels. Most bourbon, but not all, is made in Kentucky.
For this recipe you can use either whiskey or bourbon. It was change the flavor somewhat but so will different brands.
When are blood oranges in season?
Blood oranges are named for their bright red color inside. This juice will stain so be careful! It is worth it though, besides its beautiful color, it also has a delicious and sweeter flavored juice than other oranges. They are available from December to April.
You can buy simple syrup in most grocery stores but it’s also very easy to make at home with just two ingredients. Just heat equal parts water and sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool before using.
If you want to add more flavor to this cocktail you can try a ginger syrup for a little spicy kick.
Blood Orange Whiskey Smash
- cocktail shaker
- 2 oz whiskey or bourbon
- 2 lemon wedges
- 2 blood orange wedges
- 3-5 fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 oz simple syrup
- Add lemon and blood orange wedges to a cocktail shaker and muddle to release juices.
- Add fresh mint, syrup, whiskey or bourbon and ice.
- Shake until well chilled.
- Strain over fresh ice.
- Garnish with fresh mint and a blood orange slice.