Tomato Nectarine Whiskey Smash

This cocktail is one of my 'kitchen sink' creations, which I make by finding inspiration with whatever is hanging around in my produce drawer and starting to look a little sad. Yeah, I know, tomatoes and nectarines won't be in season until at least May, but it's never too early to get a jumpstart on summer drinking plans!

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This combination of flavors is fresh, light, and summery, and reminds me of hot, August late afternoons, sitting on the patio, watching the sun go down. Last summer I was pregnant (read: overheated, fat, and miserable), and then had a newborn, so I didn't spend nearly as much time enjoying the outdoors as I normally would. This year, I'm looking forward to breaking out my crappy, inflatable, not-quite-big-enough pool and spending as many afternoons as possible in the backyard with Isla and Jeff. And this cocktail.

This recipe is a variation on a traditional Whiskey Smash, which typically involves a mix of bourbon (but could use another spirit of choice), simple syrup, lemon (plus or minus seasonal fruit), mint (or another herb of choice), and crushed ice. The Smash is a fun and easy-going cocktail, and I love playing with variations on the original by substituting various fruit and herbs and making flavored syrups, of course. (Side note: I used dill pollen in place of mint in this rendition, but mint is a staple ingredient of the traditional Whiskey Smash.)

For further reading on the subject, there's a great article on Imbibe Magazine covering the history of the Smash, and how it relates to its predecessor, the Julep. They perfectly sum up the vibe of this classic cocktail in the "History of the Smash":

"At its heart, the smash is a wonderfully forgiving and flexible drink, made for hot days, for using what’s on hand and for smashing it all together over ice for pure sipping bliss."

Yes please. :)

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Tomato Nectarine Smash Recipe:

2 oz bourbon (I used Buffalo Trace)
1 oz lemon juice
.5 oz nectarine syrup*
4 ripe cherry tomatoes
+ Dill pollen, black pepper, cherry tomatoes to garnish

Glassware sponsored by Hospitality Glass

Muddle 4 ripe cherry tomatoes in a cocktail shaker. Add remaining ingredients and ice, and shake until chilled. Double strain into a chilled julep cup filled with cracked ice. Garnish with dill pollen, black pepper, and cherry tomatoes.

*Nectarine Syrup

  • 2 ripe nectarines
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of water

Add 2 chopped nectarines to a small heat-safe mixing bowl or an oversized mug. Add 1/2 cup of white sugar and muddle the sugar with the fruit until it becomes paste-like. Allow this mixture to sit, covered, for a few hours. Pour 1/2 cup of boiling water over the sugar and fruit paste and stir quickly to dissolve the sugar. Let stand. Once cooled, strain the syrup through a fine mesh strainer and enjoy. This will result in a syrup that closely resembles the flavor of the fresh fruit.