Time Required: 5 minutes

Blackberry Basil Whiskey Smash

A refreshing summer cocktail for the whiskey lover in you.

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This recipe comes from my mom, Bonnie.

Try substituting ginger beer for the soda water if you want to add a little complexity.

You can also use a good bourbon instead of the Irish whiskey if that speaks to you. After a few of these, everything will speak to you.

Blackberry Basil Whiskey Smash


Simple Syrup:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup blackberries
  • 3 large basil leaves
  • ½ oz simple syrup
  • 1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 oz good Irish whiskey
  • soda water to taste
  • extra basil and blackberries for garnish


  1. Make simple syrup as follows:
    1. Place the sugar and water in a small (ideally nonstick) pot.
    2. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is fully dissolved.
    3. Turn off the heat and let the syrup cool to room temperature.
    4. Set aside 1 oz for your cocktail, then store the rest in a sealed glass jar in the fridge for up to 1 month.
  2. Muddle the basil, berries, simple syrup, and lemon juice in the bottom of a cocktail shaker.
  3. Fill shaker ½ way with ice, then add the whiskey.
  4. Shake well. Strain into cocktail glass with desired amount of ice.
  5. Top off with soda water to taste. Stir gently to combine.
  6. Garnish with additional blackberries and basil.