09 July 2010

Benito vs. the Cocktail: Blueberry Orange Smash

Summer's always a great time for cocktails, but take advantage of seasonal ingredients that are fresh and delicious rather than premade mixes. A smash isn't a clearly defined cocktail category, but generally it builds on the Mint Julep structure: herbs, spirits, sugar muddled together and strained. Mint is probably the most popular cocktail herb, but other smashes can be made with basil, thyme, sage, etc. Here's a little something I whipped up. You might wonder where the sugar is--the blueberries were nice and ripe and the Triple Sec has a lot of sugar in it, so there was no need for additional sweetness.

Benito's Blueberry Orange Smash
½ Cup Fresh Blueberries
5 Mint Leaves
2 oz. Vodka
1 oz. Triple Sec/Orange Liqueur
½ oz. Lime Juice
Twist of Orange Peel

Put the blueberries and mint in the cocktail shaker and muddle the hell out of it. The longer you muddle, the darker the resulting beverage will be. (Just like with grapes, blueberry juice is yellowish, and all the color comes from pressing the skin.) Add the vodka, liqueur, lime, ice, and shake and strain. You can pass this through a filter if you want a more elegant presentation, but I like all the little bits of fruit and herb. It's a reminder that you used fresh ingredients.

My garnish of blueberries on a toothpick with a helix of orange peel is optional, but easy and fun.


Sally said...


Benito said...


It's pretty good, and a fun use for blueberries. The lime is really important--you need some acidity to make it zing properly.


Joe said...

blueberries and orange go very well together. when I make smoothies (which, contrary to popular belief, are NOT an acceptable breakfast, particularly when pork chop biscuits exist), I do that combo a lot. Very tasty.

This looks to be a hot-weather dandy, for sure.

Benito said...


On the Facebook thread, I mentioned that my favorite thing to do with blueberries is put them in cornbread muffins, and typically a little orange or lemon zest really helps bring out the flavor. Nice slice of country ham on the side, and you've got yourself a good breakfast. Or late night snack, or afternoon nibble...

As always, if anyone tries this out let me know what you think!


Big Mike said...

This sounds wonderful. Just read it to Ms. D and she says we have all of the ingredients so we are trying this one my friend. Thanks as always for the cocktails, we love them.

Benito said...


Glad to hear it! I've only served it to one other person so far, but it was well-received.