August is finally over, but you wouldn’t know it by the weather around here. So we’re going to make the transition to fall drinks very gradually, working our way through some Smashes. The Smash is a pretty loosey-goosey family of drinks that involve spirits shaken with herbs, and maybe fruit, and a bit of sweetener, and those are pretty much the only rules. Which means you can tailor one to match pretty much any weather or mood or anything else you want it to. A great transition drink. We’re starting this month with a Sage Lime Tequila Smash. – Andrew
Sage Lime Tequila Smash
2 oz Blanco Tequila
1 tsp Agave Syrup
1/2 Lime, Quartered
3-4 Sage Leaves
Muddle the lime, sage, and agave syrup in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add ice and the tequila, then shake well. Strain into a lowball glass filled with fresh ice and garnish with lime and more sage leaves.
Straining might be a bit tricky, since the lime shells can block up the strainer in your shaker. Be patient. And don’t worry if bits of lime and sage leaves make their way into your drink; they won’t hurt, and they’ll make the drink look fantastic.
This is a really light, cheerful drink, with lots of flavors that pop. The tequila and lime are bright and clear, with a subtle savory backbone from the sage. Fresh is important here; you can always cheat and throw in bottled lime juice or dried sage leaves but you’d be doing yourself a major disservice. Cold and refreshing, too, and easy to knock back. The Smash, unlike its cousin the Julep with its languid style, is meant to be consumed quickly.
Sage is a tricky herb to work with in cocktails and too much can easily overwhelm a drink with sharp savoriness. So it’s better to err on the side of too little, and add more, than too add too much at the start.
We’ll be back next week with another Smash with some bourbon, a perfect ingredient as our weather (hopefully) gets cooler.
(Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, where we’ve been posting our experiments before they make their way onto this column!)
Glassware by Liquorary
Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper