This Bourbon Peach Smash with basil is a quintessential summer cocktail. It works as a pitcher cocktail for a crowd, or as a single-batch sipping-on-the-porch kind of drink. Even if you don’t think you like bourbon, give this a try! Fresh peaches and fragrant basil really tone down the strong bourbon flavor.
Tomorrow (the 19th) is my 25th birthday! Growing up, having a mid-summer birthday was the BEST. I never had to go to school on my birthday (or do anything of particular importance) and the weather was almost always perfect. Now that I’m an adult, it’s not quite as exciting. My husband and I will both be working and the rest of my family is out of town, but I always try to spend the morning of my birthday outside, doing something active.
I almost always go on a long run on my birthday – a few years ago (on my 21st birthday) I was actually in the middle of a few hundred-mile relay race across northern Michigan with a few friends. That weekend, I ran about 35 miles over 3 days and it was one of my favorite birthdays to date. I spent every moment in nature and it was so relaxing!
It might sound absolutely insane to spend a good part of my birthday sweating it out on a long run, but it’s one of my favorite traditions. Plus, I’m always STARVING after a long run, so I spend most of the rest of the day eating all of my favorite foods. Really the perfect situation!
This year, I’m planning to go 10 miles in the morning followed by a 15 mile bike ride (25 miles total for my age). Later in the evening, my husband is taking me out to a special dinner + the premiere of the new Lion King movie. I don’t have any afternoon plans yet, and honestly I would NOT be mad about sitting on the porch with one of these bourbon peach smash cocktails all afternoon. Maybe with a slice of this cake, too.
Peaches + basil + bourbon = the ultimate summer cocktail!
Peaches + basil are truly a match made in heaven. Really any stone fruit + basil (also blueberries and basil…strawberries and basil…okay, any summer fruit with basil). It’s such a fragrant, delicate herb – it adds so much flavor. Plus, our homegrown basil is growing like crazy this year, so we’re constantly trying to figure out ways to use it up. You can only make so much pesto, right? What are your favorite ways to use basil?
With rich vanilla, caramel and oak notes, bourbon pairs perfectly with juicy, sweet, fresh peaches. It’s important to use super fresh, ripe peaches for this cocktail. If you need to ripen your peaches in a pinch, throw them in a paper bag for 24 hours until perfectly juicy and ripe.
How to make a peach bourbon smash
What is a smash cocktail, you ask? While the technical definition is relatively open to interpretation, most smash cocktails involve some kind of seasonal fruit and/or herb. They typically involve either bourbon or whiskey and occasionally something fizzy, like ginger beer. A smash cocktail is served over ice – perfect for a hot summer day!
Our version involves muddling fresh diced peaches and basil in a glass, then adding the remaining liquid ingredients to a cocktail shaker and pouring everything over ice. It’s so easy, and you’ll majorly impress any guests with your newfound mixology skills.
In addition to fresh basil, we also make a homemade basil simple syrup to add to this cocktail. It’s super easy to make – simply combine sugar and water in a saucepan until dissolved. Then, add a few basil leaves, let infuse for a half hour, strain and let cool. If you don’t have the time to make homemade simple syrup, you can always use a store-bought version. Homemade simple syrup will last for up to a month in the refrigerator.
If you want to make a large batch, simply prepare everything in a pitcher. To multiply the quantities for this recipe, simply press the “2x” or “3x” button in the top right corner of our recipe box.
More of our favorite summer cocktails
Not a huge fan of bourbon? Try a few more of our favorite summer cocktail recipes:
- Berry Basil Moscow Mules
- Frozen Watermelon Jalapeño Margaritas
- Fig Moscow Mules
- Watermelon Peach Prosecco Popsicles
- Cucumber Melon Gin Spritzer via Spices in my DNA
This Bourbon Peach Smash with basil is a quintessential summer cocktail. It works as a pitcher cocktail for a crowd, or as a single-batch sipping-on-the-porch kind of drink.
- 2 tbsp diced peach
- 2 leaves basil
- 1 1/2 oz bourbon
- 1/2 oz Cointreau liqueur
- 3/4 oz lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
- 3/4 oz basil simple syrup (recipe below)
- 1 1/2 oz cherry juice
- 1 oz peach juice
- Crushed ice
- For garnish: Basil leaves, cherries, peach slices
Basil Simple Syrup:
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup basil leaves
Basil Simple Syrup:
- Combine water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat until sugar dissolves.
- Add in basil and let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let infuse 30 minutes. Strain and let cool before using in cocktail.
- Muddle peaches and basil in a cocktail glass.
- Add bourbon, Cointreau, lemon juice, simple syrup, cherry juice, and peach juice to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake for 20-30 seconds, then pour over muddled peaches and basil. Add extra ice.
- Garnish with fresh basil and peach slices. Enjoy!
Store leftover homemade simple syrup in a glass container in the fridge for up to a month.