The Cocktail: Whiskey Smash and Whiskey

In the first episode of The Cocktail, we talk about whiskey and make a Whiskey Smash.

Whiskey is distilled from a mix of cooked fermented grain called the mash bill. The specific recipe of the mash bill has a big effect on the final product. Add more rye grain, and you’ll get spicier notes in the spirit. Use more corn and the whisky will be sweeter. There are whiskies made with wheat, barley, and spelt, and each grain brings its own flavor with it.

Whiskey Smash
2 oz whiskey
.75 oz simple syrup
Half lemon in wedges
4 mint leaves
Mint sprig

Muddle lemon wedges in shaker. Add whiskey, simple syrup, and mint leaves. Shake with ice and strain into rocks glass with crushed ice. Slap mint sprig and garnish.

Most whiskey is aged in charred white oak barrels. Aging mellows the whiskey, imparts oaky and tanniny flavors, and gives it its distinctive caramel color. Some distilleries age their whiskies in wine or sherry casks or otherwise play with the aging process. This can lead to some really interesting non-traditional whiskies.

A Whiskey Smash is an easy cocktail you can make at home with a bottle of whiskey and a couple things you can get from the grocery store. It will let you enjoy your whiskey with the refreshing flavors of lemon and mint.