Make this delicious, bubbly twist on a classic bourbon smash cocktail at home with seasonal blood orange and a splash of champagne. Originally posted January 2021. Last updated January 2022.
It's blood orange season and I hope you're taking full advantage, friend. We're all about whiskey cocktails at Dash of Jazz HQ (aka my house) and this bubbly blood orange bourbon smash is a very cute addition to the lineup. She's potent like any good bourbon smash cocktail should be and a beautiful color thanks to lots of fresh blood orange juice. Let's get into the details of this blood orange cocktail recipe so you can get it in your life ASAP.
If you love unique whiskey cocktails, try these, too!
There are so many fun whiskey smash variations out there. My bubbly blood orange bourbon smash, of course, uses bourbon but it also swaps out simple syrup in favor of maple syrup, which adds the necessary sweetness to this sparkling whiskey cocktail as well as a bit of flavor. And from the name of this cocktail, you'll have gathered that there's blood orange in it. A traditional whiskey smash or bourbon smash uses lemon.
The last twist is a splash of dry champagne, which is where the bubbly part of the name comes in. Champagne whiskey cocktails are wonderful and you don't just have to take my word for it. This champagne & whiskey number is one of the most popular on the blog and should be on your list, too!
Tips for Easy Happy Hours at Home
I enjoy a making cocktails at home. It's much simpler than most people think and a great way to learn more about what you truly enjoy about your favorite drinks. At-home happy hour makes for a great date night-in activity, too. And you don't need a ton of fancy bar tools to make it happen, either. Here are three swaps you can make with things you likely already have in your own kitchen.
- Don't have a jigger? Use a shot glass.
- Don't have a muddler? Use the end of a wooden spoon.
- Don't have a bar spoon? Use a butter knife.
How to Make a Bubbly Blood Orange Bourbon Smash
Here's what you'll need for my seasonal twist on a classic bourbon cocktail:
Making a bubbly blood orange bourbon smash is as simple as muddle, shake, and pour. Muddle the blood orange and mint using a muddler or the back of a sturdy spoon. (I like a wooden cooking spoon for this.) Add your bourbon, maple syrup, and ice to the mix and shake it all up really well. Not sure about using maple syrup in cocktails? It adds the sweetness you're after with a lower glycemic index so you'll need to use less of it. I also like the gentle maple flavor that it adds. If you're after a more classic taste, go with the simple syrup or even plain ol' sugar.
Strain the mixture over ice. Now, you can stop at this step and have a solidly delicious blood orange bourbon cocktail. At this point, it's just a bourbon smash with blood orange instead of lemon. But I’m of the mind that a little bubbly never hurt nobody so top up the glass with champagne, if you agree. Be sure to give the finished cocktail a stir to incorporate all the flavors and that's it!
How-to Video: Winter Fruit Bourbon Cocktail
The classic bourbon smash recipe actually calls for double straining the liquid for the smoothest cocktail possible. I don't mind a little pulp in my cocktail so I never bother with that step but if that's not your thing, pour your blood orange bourbon smash through a fine strainer. And, in case you're wondering how to make a classic whiskey smash, it's very simple and just slightly different from my bubbly blood orange bourbon smash. Check out this primer on Liquor.com.
I hope you'll enjoy a delicious bubbly blood orange bourbon smash (or two) before blood orange season 2021 ends. And sharing is caring so be sure to pin this winter citrus cocktail on Pinterest. Thanks for reading!
Bubbly Blood Orange Bourbon Smash Recipe
Bubbly Blood Orange Bourbon Smash
- Cocktail Shaker
- 3 segments blood orange (¾ of a blood orange, cut into equal pieces)
- 4 leaves fresh mint plus more for garnish
- 2 ounces bourbon whiskey
- ¾ ounce maple syrup or simple syrup
- Dry champagne
- 1 slice blood orange optional garnish
- Cut a blood orange into quarters and add three of the quarters to an open cocktail shaker. Add in the fresh mint leaves and muddle blood orange and mint in order to release the juices and oils. Use the back of a wooden spoon for this step if you don't have a muddler tool.
- Add ice, bourbon, and maple syrup to cocktail shaker and securely place the top on it. Shake vigorously for about 10 seconds to fully chill and combine the mixture.
- Add fresh ice to a rocks glass and strain cocktail mixture into it. Top up glass with champagne and stir to incorporate. Garnish with blood orange slice and fresh mint sprig, if desired. Enjoy responsibly!