Summery and sweet, serve up this Peach Whiskey Smash recipe made with fresh peaches and bourbon. This crushable cocktail is excellent on a hot summer day.
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Peach Whiskey Smash recipe
It’s “Freaky Friday” again! This is a day every so often when a bunch of bloggers get together and swap recipes.
Chrissie is a great friend of mine who also lives in Charlotte; we met each other years ago at a blogger event. Since then, we have explored our city together and even attended each other’s weddings.
This cocktail is incredibly swanky yet so easy to make. Featuring a peach simple syrup, bourbon, fresh mint and ginger beer, this cocktail is one you’ll want to be making all summer long.
About Off the Eaten Path
As I mentioned above, this recipe comes from my friend Chrissie of the blog Off The Eaten Path. We’ve known each other for about 8 years now! We share a love for cats, cocktails and the city of Charlotte.
Chrissie is who I text when I need travel or restaurant recommendations — check out her North Carolina travel guides if ever you’re traveling here.
Crazy story time: Chrissie and her husband AJ’s beach wedding was rudely interrupted by a hurricane and they swiftly moved the party to Charlotte. My mom stepped in to arrange the flowers and I was in charge of drinks — I made Hurricane Matthews (essentially classic hurricane cocktails) for 100 people.
Despite the rain and whirlwind plans, it was the loveliest party. Check out Chrissie’s wedding recap for more about their day (and a cameo from their cat Phoebe).
She really does throw a mean party, and I’ve been lucky to attend a few others. A few years ago, Chrissie published a cookbook all about entertaining food called Stunning Spreads. It features some great cocktails and appetizer spreads and makes a wonderful gift.
The cocktail I chose to make of Chrissie’s is one featuring a bevy of my favorite ingredients: peaches, bourbon, mint, lemon and ginger.
Chrissie originally made this whiskey sour for her bourbon-loving dad, who is an excellent mixologist himself. (Sometimes he even makes an appearance on her Instagram stories — they are a pair worth a follow!)
What is a whiskey smash?
The result is a fruity yet spirit-forward cocktail. However, because it’s served over crushed ice, it makes for a refreshing and flavorful drink for summertime.
Whiskey smashes work all year long, though, as evidenced by Chrissie’s cranberry bourbon smash recipe which is so good for the holidays.
Feel free to make up your own whiskey smash recipe with your favorite seasonal fruit and fresh herbs.
Here’s what you need to pick up at the grocery store to make this peach bourbon smash:
Fresh lemon juice is key in this recipe. Lemon, of course, has a reputation for sourness, but the bottled concentrate has a more artificial-tasting sour flavor than fresh lemon. However, if you have to use the bottled stuff, you absolutely can.
If you do go with fresh, you can use a whole lemon with a juicer or cut lemon wedges for easier squeezing.
As in a mint julep, muddling a few fresh mint leaves into a cocktail gives off a distinct herbal flavor. I grow mint in my herb garden, but you can find it in the produce section of most grocery stores, sold either in plastic clamshells or in bundles.
You will need peaches, sugar and water to make your own peach simple syrup (more on that below). You can use fresh or frozen peaches. I use white sugar in my peach syrup, but you can also use brown sugar.
It’s important to make the syrup in advance and let it cool before mixing. Otherwise, you’ll melt all your ice! You can store it in a mason jar in the fridge.
Whiskey is the key ingredient in a whiskey sour. Bourbon whiskey is the main choice for this recipe, but you could also use Irish whiskey, rye whiskey or another type of whiskey.
Don’t skimp on the good stuff here — always use the best bourbon you can afford.
As far as brands go, if you’re a bourbon lover, you probably already have a favorite and you should just use that.
Chrissie used Cooper’s Craft Bourbon in her recipe. I like to use Old Forester, Woodford Reserve or Maker’s Mark in my bourbon cocktails. Those three are on forever rotation on my bar cart.
Check out Bourbon 101 for a crash course on this spirit.
Ice is the most underrated ingredient in cocktails. Chrissie suggests using crushed ice (or pebble ice). If you have the time to make fresh ice cubes (AKA ice that you freeze yourself versus automatic freezer-made ice), your cocktail will have better quality overall.
I agree — it is the ideal ice to use for smashes, juleps and tiki drinks. These drinks are intended for warm climates and use concentrated simple syrup. Crushed ice melts evenly, which helps to gently dilute the sweet syrup and whiskey while still keeping it super cold.
Ginger beer is a fermented ginger soda and, even though it has the name “beer,” it is non-alcoholic. I taste-tested all the brands of ginger beer I could find and ranked them by spice level.
If you want to use ginger ale, feel free. If you do, keep in mind that your cocktail may be a bit on the sweet side, so you may wish to scale back the peach simple syrup (or omit it entirely).
For a lighter option, you can use soda water, seltzer or club soda.
Now, to top off that pretty cocktail! A few peach slices and a swag of fresh mint sprigs will make this cocktail stand out.
Peach simple syrup vs. muddled peaches
There are technically two ways to mix up a whiskey smash. One is to muddle fruit and the other is to use a flavored simple syrup.
Chrissie tried it both ways and found that the peach syrup was able to bring in a stronger peach flavor thanks to diced fruit.
Muddled fruit, which is fruit smashed with a wooden stick called a muddler, also creates a big mess in the cocktail shaker that can be hard to strain out (even if you use a proper strainer). However, if muddling is more your speed
How to make the Peach Whiskey Smash
Here’s how to make this peach smash cocktail:
- First, you have to make the simple syrup. In a medium saucepan, combine water and peaches and bring to a simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Strain out peaches with a fine-mesh strainer.
- Stir in sugar until dissolved. Let cool completely before using or storing. Store in an airtight container (like a mason jar) in the fridge.
- Once the mixture has cooled, make the bourbon smash cocktail. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a cocktail shaker. Add fresh mint leaves, peach simple syrup and bourbon.
- Add ice to the shaker and shake to combine. Add crushed ice to a rocks glass or collins glass and strain the cocktail shaker mixture over the ice.
- Top with a splash (about one to two ounces) of ginger beer, garnish with fresh peach slices and a mint sprig, and enjoy!
Variations and substitutions
Use peach-flavored whiskey. If you want to use peach whiskey, you absolutely can. Doing so will add a stronger peach flavor to this cocktail. You could also try it with a peach moonshine if that is up your alley!
However, you may want to skip the peach simple syrup as these flavored whiskeys can be on the sweet side. There are a few brands that make peach whiskey:
- Peach Crown Royal
- Evan Williams Peach
- Jim Beam Peach
- Ole Smokey Peach Whiskey
- Stillhouse Peach Tea Whiskey
Lighten up the cocktail. Ginger beer can be replaced with ginger ale, seltzer water or club soda.
Give it more flavor. Feel free to mix in other fresh ingredients, like blackberries, basil or lime juice.
So what is Freaky Friday? It’s a day every once in a while when fellow bloggers come together and swap recipes on our blogs. Michaela from An Affair from the Heart is our captain who assigns the participating bloggers to another blog to remake a recipe of their choosing.
We test, photograph and write about the recipe as if it were our own, then we share them all on the same Friday and link to each other. It’s a great way to meet other food bloggers and try new recipes. I hope you meet someone new!
See all of our 2022 Freaky Friday Summer Edition RecipesHosted by – An Affair from the Heart
- An Affair from the Heart – Moose Munch Popcorn
- Aunt Bee’s Recipes – Breakfast Egg Bites
- The Culinary Compass – Pull Apart Garlic Bread
- Devour Dinner – BBQ Nachos
- Family Around the Table – Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Salad
- Feast + West – Peach Whiskey Smash
- Home Cooked Harvest – Strawberry Cheesecake Bites
- Hostess at Heart – Peanut Butter Cookie
- Kathryn’s Kitchen Blog – Cilantro Lime Shrimp Recipe
- Life Currents – Jalapeño Poppers Puffs
- Off the Eaten Path – Cheerwine Bourbon Slush Cocktails
- The Speckled Palate – Lemon Cooler Cookies
- Sue Bee Homemaker – Fruit Dip Without Marshmallow Cream
- The Wimpy Vegetarian – How to Make Enchilada Sauce
More peach cocktails
Chrissie’s whole site is filled with delicious recipes. I hope you’ll check out her site and find some new favorite recipes. Here are some of her and my peach cocktails:
More summer whiskey recipes
If you love this whiskey cocktail recipe, check out more ideas for summer cocktails featuring bourbon.
- Kentucky Mule
- Cheerwine Old-Fashioned
- Belmont Jewel
- Blackberry Peach Whiskey Sour
- Cheerwine Bourbon Slushies
- Bourbon Ginger Shrub Cocktail
For the syrup
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 peach, diced
For the cocktails
- ½ fresh lemon
- 6-8 fresh mint leaves
- 4 ounces peach simple syrup
- 4 ounces bourbon
- crushed ice
- 1-2 ounces ginger beer
- peach slices, for garnish
- fresh mint sprigs, for garnish
For the syrup
- In a medium saucepan, combine water and peaches and bring to a simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Strain out peaches with a fine-mesh strainer.
- Stir in sugar until dissolved. Let cool completely before using or storing. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Makes ¾ cup.
For the cocktail
- Make the bourbon smash cocktail. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a cocktail shaker. Add fresh mint leaves, peach simple syrup and bourbon.
- Add ice to the shaker and shake to combine. Add crushed ice to a rocks or collins glass and strain cocktail shaker mixture over the ice.
- Top with a splash (about one to two ounces) of ginger beer, garnish with fresh peach slices and mint sprigs, and enjoy!
Ginger beer can be replaced with ginger ale, seltzer water or club soda.
Feel free to use peach-flavored whiskey, but you may want to use less peach simple syrup or omit it entirely.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 482Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 19mgCarbohydrates: 90gFiber: 5gSugar: 84gProtein: 2g