Normally when we think about grapes and alcohol, we think wine. But fresh grapes taste completely different than fermented ones and actually make a great fruity addition to cocktails.
You can always use juice to add fruit flavor to any spirit but a smash uses fresh fruit that's been muddled. So, in a sense, we're stomping grapes here only with a cocktail muddler and shaker. I've tried this drink with vodka, gin and rum and all were fine. But my preference was for the warm flavor of bourbon with the fresh sweet and slightly acidic taste of the grapes.
Any grape you enjoy eating will work in this recipe but only the red skinned ones will give your drink that slightly pink hue. The little champagne grapes I used are a seasonal favorite and I admit I can't resist buying them when I find them. They're small and seedless with a wonderful crisp taste. And yes, they're highly decorative but we do eat (and drink) with our eyes. I would serve this drink with extra grapes and some good cheese. Cheers!
Yield: 2 Servings
Grape Bourbon Smash
Prep time: 7 MinTotal time: 7 Min
Recipe for a bourbon cocktail flavored with fresh grapes, lemon and elderflower liqueur.
- 4 oz. Bourbon
- 4 oz. Juice from muddled grapes
- 2 oz. Elderflower liqueur
- 1 oz. Lemon juice
- 1 oz. Simple syrup
- Club soda for topping
- Add about a cup of regular seedless red grapes or champagne grapes to a bowl and muddle using a wooden spoon or cocktail muddler. Strain out the pulp. You can also do this in a food processor. Feel free to add a tablespoon of water if needed to fully puree.
- Add the bourbon, grape puree, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice, shake well and pour into two cocktail glasses. Top with club soda and garnish with a few grapes, if desired.