Drink: Confessions of a Plant Killer

The Smash
The instrument on the right is a two-sided jigger. The large side is 1.5 ounces. The small side is .75 ounce.

I admit it. I have killed several mint plants this year. People keep telling me that mint is soooo easy to grow — It’s a weed for goodness sakes. Yet as the summer days (also known as prime mint julep season) slide past I am, alas, mintless.

Finally I admitted defeat and bought some mint at the farmers market. I made a mint simple syrup that makes cocktail mixing a breeze. The first drink on my agenda was The Smash. The Smash is an easy version of the mint julep. The mint julep requires finely crushed ice, a silver cup, and wayyyy too much work. The smash requires – well a lot less work.

 Mint Simple Syrup

2 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 cups torn mint leaves

Pour sugar and water into a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook five minutes. Remove from heat. Add mint leaves and allow to cool. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain into a jar or other container with a cover.


1.5 ounces bourbon (I like Maker’s Mark)
.75 ounce mint syrup (you can use as much or as little syrup as you like)

  1. Pour bourbon and mint syrup into a shaker filled with ice
  2. Shake well
  3. Pour into a rocks glass filled with ice
  4. Garnish with mint sprig – if desired
  5. Drink
  6. Repeat (Responsibly)

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