2 oz Whiskey
3⁄4 oz Simple syrup
3 wdg Lemon
6 lf Mint (plus a sprig as garnish)
Instructions

Muddle lemons, mint and syrup in a shaker. Add whiskey and Shake. Double strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish: mint sprig.

Notes

In PDT book, it calls for Rittenhouse, but Meehan credits Degroff. In "Craft of Cocktail" Degroff's older version is made the same but: 2 lemon, 2-3 mint, .75 syrup, 1.5 Maker's Mark bourbon, 1oz water.

History

Apparently based an old recipe by Jerry Thomas, modified with the inclusion of citrus by Dale Degroff. See comments for more.

Cocktail summary
Created by
Dale Degroff, Rainbow Room, NYC.
Year
1999
Is of
unknown authenticity
Reference

Meehan, Jim. PDT Cocktail Book. 2011. p. 265

Curator
Not yet rated
Average
4 stars
(2 ratings)
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Comments

I'm pretty sure the first instance of a "smash" in print was in Jerry Thomas' "Bar-Tender's Guide & Bon Vivant's Companion" from 1862, with whiskey (bourbon or rye), gin and brandy variants.  Prep was a dirty dump, not strained.


You're right. I have a re-print of Thomas's book, and he includes a brandy, gin, and whiskey smash. However, none of them include citrus. He simply call's them "a julep on a small plan." Directions are to basically shake whiskey, mint, sugar and water together. I also checked Wondrich's Imbibe and couldn't find anything about the inclusion of citrus with the smash.


yarm commented on 8/12/2020:

The Smash was originally a Julep on the small scale (Juleps could be doubles and ornate) that was in Jerry Thomas' 1862 book. Degroff at the Rainbow Room circa 1998 has been attributed for the inclusion of citrus in the Smash, and it took off here in Boston around 2005 with Eastern Standard's Whiskey Smash. Eastern Standard used a variety of Bourbons for that depending on the year, but it was never rye -- Bourbon is softer/rounder than rye and works better with lemon and mint for my palate. This gave new life to the Smash which otherwise would never appear on a menu over the better known Julep.