Raspberry & Basil Summer Smash

Have you tried a smash yet? It’s a category of cocktail that involves really simple ingredients: spirits, sparkling water and seasonal fruit. A perfectly refreshing way to end a hot summer day. Smashes have quickly become my go-to summer drink of choice, I’ve been trying them over the past couple months with all types of ingredients.

Whether we are at the lake, sitting on the porch at home, or in a hot and trendy club in DC the concept has yet to disappoint. My favorite combos are fruit + herbs. It makes for a drink that is not too sweet and yet super refreshing.

Here are my 3 favorite refreshing summer smash recipes:

Raspberry & Basil Summer Smash

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 raspberries
  • 3 Basil springs
  • 2 tablespoons simple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 4 oz Gin
  • 4 oz sparkling water
  • Ice

Combine top 6 ingredients in a shaker and shake. Strain into mason jar glass filled with ice. Top with berries and a couple sprigs of fresh basil.

Watermelon & Mints Summer Smash

Watermelon Mint Summer Smash

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup cut up watermelon
  • Fresh mint sprigs
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 Tablespoons simple syrup
  • 4 oz Tequila
  • 4 oz Sparkling water
  • Ice

Combine top 6 ingredients in a shaker and shake. Strain into a high ball glass filled with ice and the shaken watermelon chunks. Top with couple sprigs of fresh mint.

Grapefuit Summer Smash

Grapefruit Summer Smash

  • 2 oz fresh grapefruit juice + wedge for garnish
  • 1 Tablespoon honey simple syrup
  • 4 oz Rye Whiskey
  • Ice

Combine top 3 ingredients in a shaker and shake. Strain into a high ball glass filled with ice. Top with a wedge of grapefruit.

It doesn’t seem you can do much wrong when combining a bit of spirit and a dose of fruit (which also makes these smashes healthy, right!!?).

Like many cocktails, the question of the smash’s exact definition is a question of semantics. 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. – Imbibe

Taking their cues from the first ever smash a Mint Julep these updated sips are sure to start the weekend off right. Cheers!

(Photography by ©Nataša Mandić/Stocksy United and Treasures & Travels/Stocksy United).