Make this Spicy Vodka Blackberry Smash your new favorite drink of summer. The cocktail is packed with blackberry flavor along with subtle touches of mint and jalapeño.
We’ve entered the portion of summer where everyone is starting to say, “I’m SO ready for fall.” Well, I’d just like to make this very important public service announcement that I respectfully disagree with all of those summer haters and am in no way, shape, or form ready for summer to be over. Sure, it was 100 degrees in Boston last week and it will likely hit high 90s again next week, but I’m still perfectly happy sitting here in this summer bliss. And though I absolutely love fall, I am not even close to ready for summer to end. I still have over a week to go before my summer vacation in Maine!
And I haven’t done nearly enough grilling. Or summer cocktail-ing. Why haven’t I been making more summer cocktails?? SOS. Welp, there’s no time like the present to start, so I’m here today on this very glorious Cocktail Friday to present you with a Spicy Vodka Blackberry Smash. Whenever I think of “smash” cocktails, I think of whiskey, but you can really use any type of liquor you choose. And though I do like whiskey and do think it would be delicious in this cocktail, on a sunny summer afternoon, I often prefer something a bit lighter, like vodka.
SPICY VODKA BLACKBERRY SMASH RECIPE
I tested this cocktail a few different ways before landing on this final recipe. Smashes can be made in a variety of different ways, from straining out the smashed ingredients to adding the smashed ingredients into the cocktail (I’m in the camp that says they should be added!). But before I got started on the smashing, I made a mint simple syrup, which is really just a simple syrup with some fresh mint leaves added in for flavoring.
It’s easy to make and fabulous for keeping in a jar in your fridge for all your summer simple syrup needs.
Then comes the smashing! Just add your blackberries and chopped jalapeños to a shaker and smash away. You’ll want to smash as much as you can to extract as much juice as possible from the blackberries and to muddle the jalapeños really well so you don’t get any chunks when you’re sipping. This cocktail wasn’t super spicy, but if you want to tone down the heat even more, scrape the seeds out of the jalapeños before adding to the shaker.
Once everything is muddled, add vodka, simple syrup, and lime juice, along with some crushed ice.
Shake really well and then pour into a cocktail glass. I didn’t strain it and just added the whole shebang to the glass. And top off with a little bit of soda water to fill it to the top. Oh, and I added a little sugared rim to my glass (I just rubbed a lime wedge around the glass and put it upside-down on a plate full of coarse sugar.
Add the cocktail garnishes of your choosing, but I recommend some blackberries, a jalapeño slice, and some mint leaves.
Not only is this spicy vodka blackberry smash a pretty cool color, but it’s also a refreshingly sweet drink, too. I feel like we rarely fully enjoy the deliciousness of blackberries. They’re generally a pretty pricey fruit and you don’t often find them in fruit salads and if they are, you only get a few. Sometimes I forget how delicious they are. This blackberry smash made me realize I need to splurge on them more often… Or at least make sure I buy them every time they’re on sale.
Like I mentioned, this cocktail isn’t overly spicy, but has a little bit of delicious jalapeño flavor. The mint flavor is also pretty subtle. You could always muddle some mint leaves in with the berries and jalapeños, but I really wanted to let the blackberry flavor shine so appreciated the subtle mint and jalapeño complementary flavors.
I think this spicy vodka blackberry smash just became my new favorite summer drink.
Luckily we still have quite a bit of summer left. Can we all just vow to enjoy it instead of wishing it away? Maybe you’ll enjoy it more if I offer you a blackberry smash? We can drink it together out in the sun on my deck. Or if you prefer, we could sit in the air conditioned house instead.
If you like this cocktail recipe, be sure to check out my Blueberry Vodka Lemonade (one of the most popular recipes on my blog!) and my Blackberry Lemonade Margarita. I also want to try this Blackberry Thyme Spritzer from Fork in the Road!
Spicy Vodka Blackberry Smash
- Coarse sugar, for glass rim
- 5 blackberries, plus more for garnish
- 1/2 Tbsp diced jalapeño, plus slices for garnish
- 2 oz. vodka
- 1 oz mint simple syrup (recipe below)
- 1/2 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice, plus wedge for glass rim
- 3/4 cup crushed ice
- Soda water, for topping
- Fresh mint, for garnish
Mint Simple Syrup
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 12 mint leaves
- Place sugar on a small plate and run a lime wedge around the rim of your cocktail glass. Place glass upside-down on plate to coat rim in sugar.
- Put blackberries and diced jalapeño in a shaker and muddle as much as possible (extract as much juice as possible from blackberries and break down jalapeños)
- Add vodka, simple syrup, and lime juice to the shaker along with crushed ice and shake well.
- Pour cocktail into prepared glass (do not strain) and top off with a little bit of soda water. Garnish with blackberries, sliced jalapeño, and mint if desired.
Mint Simple Syrup
- Put sugar, water, and mint in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Once mixture comes to a boil, lower to a simmer and let simmer for about 10 minutes, until it thickens.
- Push syrup through a mesh sieve to strain out mint and into an airtight container. Place in fridge to cool completely.