Dark and juicy, sweet and sour, this blackberry smash is refreshing and strong at the same time. Lemon, soda and ice add lightness while juicy blackberries and herbal flavored gin give this drink body. With fresh or frozen blackberries, you'll be serving up this delicious cocktail in just 5 minutes!
Why I Love This Recipe
A blackberry smash (fruit, sugar, herbs and liquor all smashed together) is the ultimate summer and fall cocktail. A bourbon smash is one of the most popular bourbon cocktails but mixing it with gin instead adds so many aromatic botanicals. Mint ties the dark berries and botanical spirits together in a really wonderful way.
I adore blackberries. I love to forage for them during blackberry season. They are rewarding and plentiful if you find a wild patch. These dark, rich fruits are delicious fresh and also freeze wonderfully for using all year. (To make these all year round, make up some Blackberry Simple Syrup!)
With minimal ingredients, this fruit flavored smash recipe comes together fast and is a refreshing fruity cocktail for a hot summer day. Not too sweet, it's one of my favorite cocktails at the end of a long day.
- Blackberries - You can use frozen or fresh blackberries for this recipe. Fresh berries are wonderful in season but frozen berries work just as well when fresh aren't available. Thaw them first so they can be easily muddled and mixed in.
- Gin - Whether you choose gin or another spirit of choice, you'll get the best results if you spurge on the good stuff. The spirit base is half the cocktail so it is worth the extra cost to choose a high quality gin.
- Mint - Fresh mint adds a great herbal and refreshing flavor. Make sure to save a sprig of fresh mint to garnish each glass with. You can try other fresh herbs if you like. Other great choices for a smash cocktail include basil, fennel and lavender.
- Granulated Sugar - Using coarse sugar helps muddle the mint and macerate the blackberries. I like to use raw cane sugar but if you prefer, simple syrup or maple syrup make a fine substitute. If using maple or simple syrup, use 1.5 ounces in place of the 2 tablespoons of sugar. Taste your cocktail and adjust the level of sweetness to your taste.
See recipe card for quantities.
Substitutions + Variations
- Spirits - Make it a blackberry bourbon smash by swapping out the gin for bourbon whiskey or go for a basic whiskey smash using Irish whiskey. Use an equal amount of either of those spirits in place of the gin.
- Citrus Juice - Fresh lime juice makes a great substitute for lemon juice. Alternatively you can use grapefruit juice for a slightly less sour and subtle bitter note. Garnish the finished cocktail with lime wedges or grapefruit wheels depending what you've used in the cocktail. (Made with lime and rum, this would be a blackberry mojito!)
- Seasonal Fruit Smash - Swap out sweet blackberries for other sweet, fresh fruit that is in season like peaches, raspberries, strawberries and even pineapple.
- Sparkle - I love using a splash of club soda to keep the sweetness level down but there are other fun ways to add fizz to this cocktail too. You can reduce the sugar to 1 tablespoon and swap your plain soda for an equal amount of ginger beer, ginger ale or prosecco.
- A Pitcher - Easily double, triple or quadruple this recipe to make a pitcher of Friday cocktails! Simply make the blackberry mixture with the sugar, mint and lemon juice and strain into a large pitcher of fresh ice. Add gin and give it a stir. Serve club soda, mint sprigs, extra blackberries and lemon wedges alongside and everyone can add their own splash of soda water to taste and top with garnishes.
- A Stronger Cocktail - Instead of a 2 ounce drink you can make this a full 3 ounce pour. Simply add 6 oz of gin to the cocktail mix instead of 4 oz.
The blackberry smash is a simple cocktail to make and tastes like late summer in a glass. Before mixing and muddling, choose 2 glasses, sugaring the rim if desired, and set aside. A Collins or rocks glass are the best choice for a smash cocktail. Using an oversize stemless wine glass is a fun choice too.
Step 1. Add sugar and mint to the cocktail shaker and muddle gently so the leaves bruise but don't break into pieces.
Step 2. Add blackberries and lemon juice and muddle until the berries have released their juice and the sugar is dissolved.
Step 3. Add Gin and 1 cup of cubed ice to the shaker.
Step 4. Cover with a lid or glass and shake well.
Step 5. Add ice to fill each glass. Strain the blackberry smash equally into each glass of ice.
Note: Use a 14 oz Collins or highball glass if you want to pour the entire cocktail at once. For smaller glasses, simply pour and mix a drink and refill with the remaining cocktail mix when ready.
Step 6. Top with club soda to fill glass, give it a gentle stir.
Garnish with a mint sprig, fresh blackberries and lemon wedges, wheels or twists. Enjoy!
A few tips can help you along if you don't have all the bar tools.
- No cocktail shaker? Use a mason jar with lid, a large cup or even a clean Tupperware gravy shaker.
- No muddler? Use the handle of a big wooden spoon as a muddler.
- No strainer? You can place a glass slightly askew the top of the shaker or large cup to help strain out the mint as you pour or you can even use a mesh vegetable strainer.
And the best tip for a great cocktail is to use a generous amount of ice. A cold drink is a good drink. Start with cold soda and spirits, shake your cocktail with ice and then strain into cocktail glasses filled with fresh ice cubes. The larger the ice, the less water will melt into your drink because they stay colder longer.
I hope you love the blackberry smash, the perfect way to celebrate summer 🙂
Cheers friends! Sabrina
Summer Blackberry Smash - An Easy Gin Cocktail Recipe
- Cocktail Shaker
- Cocktail Strainer (I use a Hawthorne strainer)
- 1 c Blackberries
- 20 Fresh Mint Leaves 3-4 large sprigs
- 2 tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
- 4 oz Gin
- 2 tablespoon Sugar Granulated raw sugar
- ½ c Soda Water
- 2.5 c Cubed Ice
- Prepare 2 Collins or rocks glasses, sugaring the rim if desired, and set aside.
- Add sugar and mint to the cocktail shaker and muddle gently so the leaves bruise but don't break into pieces. Add blackberries and lemon juice and muddle until the berries have released their juice and the sugar is dissolved.
- Add Gin and 1 cup of cubed ice to the shaker, cover and shake well.
- Add ¾ cup of ice to each glass and strain the blackberry smash equally into each glass of ice.
- Top with club soda to fill glass, give them a gentle stir and garnish with extra mint sprigs and lemon wedges, wheels or twists.