Perfect throughout the holiday season, the cranberry bourbon smash requires just a couple of special ingredients. (photo by Peter Zimmerman for Wine and Whiskey Globe)

We have much to be thankful for this holiday season. I’m thankful for our friends and family and although we won’t be gathered together like years past, we can still connect via Zoom and share our thanks—and raise a glass as well! This year, in addition to the Beaujolais Nouveau, we will be toasting with The Cranberry Bourbon Smash.

A smash is a classic cocktail genre, almost always spirit-based, usually muddled and prepared with crushed ice. Mint and sugar are most commonly used in addition to fresh, seasonal fruits. The most popular smash, for instance, is the Mint Julep.

This classic preparation serves as the foundation of the cocktail we will be sharing on Turkey Day. I’m using bourbon from Sonoma Distilling because I like the spicy characteristics and the 46% ABV that will carry through the glass. Fresh cranberries are also pleasant addition to the finished cocktail.


Ingredients (makes 2 cocktails)

A bunch of mint leaves (a dozen or so)
2 tablespoons sugar
4 oz. Sonoma Bourbon
2 oz. cranberry juice
Club soda
2 limes
Fresh cranberries
Ice, both cubed and crushed


Place the mint leaves and the sugar in a cocktail shaker and muddle.

Add ice cubes, bourbon, and cranberry juice. Shake well.

Pour into two whiskey glasses filled with crushed ice.

Top with a dash of club soda and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

Garnish with fresh cranberries and a slice of lime.

With a little preparation and good Wi-Fi, this recipe can be shared and prepared with those near and dear. If we can’t all be together, we can still raise a glass and toast one another. Smashing!