Sometimes, making a drink is an exercise in raiding the fridge. What do I have on hand? More importantly, what do I have on hand that will pair well with booze? Turns out we had about a metric ton of strawberries after our strawberry picking adventure last weekend (which you might have seen on Nole’s instagram). We also had some mint simple syrup left over from the time we made Basil-Mint Juleps. It didn’t take long before both of these became acquainted with some rye whiskey and, spoiler alert, the resulting drink was pretty good. So, without further jib-jab, here’s this week’s cocktail, the Strawberry Smash.Â â€“ Andrew
Illustration byÂ Shauna LynnÂ for Oh So Beautiful Paper
The Strawberry Smash
2 oz Whiskey
1/2 oz Mint Simple Syrup
2 Dashes Aromatic Bitters
Fresh Strawberries and Mint
Muddle a few fresh strawberries with the simple syrup in the bottom of a glass. Add the bitters and fill the glass with ice. Add the whiskey and give everything a stir. (Try not to stir up the strawberries too much.) Garnish with fresh mint and enjoy!
There’s an entirely false urban legend out there that drinks with lots of fruit are the product of Prohibition, when speakeasy bartenders masked the terrible flavors of bathtub booze with lots of mixers. There’s a kernel of truth to that â€“ many Prohibition-era drinks are drenched with syrups and mixers â€“ but adding fruit to drinks predates Prohibition by decades if not longer. (Just take a look at drinks like the Cobbler, an old-time drink that’s both amazing and drenched with fruit.) So don’t fear fruit in your drinks. Embrace it.
What makes a Smash? Spirits, mint, sugar, ice… and whatever else you feel like. So, strawberries, with their earthy sweetness, and mint syrup. I like to pair these with rye whiskey, which has a spicy bite that balances the fruit and syrup. And lots of ice. It’s the only way.
Long story short: never feel bad about raiding your fridge to spice up a drink.
If you do make one at home, you can useÂ #osbphappyhour to share photos of these (or your own creations) on Instagram.
Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper