The simplest Garden Cherry Bourbon Smash…to kick off your summer Cocktail Saturday enjoyment. Sweet summer cherries, smashed together with fresh garden basil, thyme, lemon, bourbon, a splash of Cointreau, white wine vinegar, and fizzy, spicy ginger beer. This recipe makes for a quick and simple summer garden-inspired cocktail. Add a sweet gingery sugar-rimmed glass and you’ll keep everyone coming back.

Garden Cherry Bourbon Smash | halfbakedharvest.com

Kicking off summer a bit early (which is officially one week from today) with a cocktail inspired by our herb garden…and one too many boxes of cherries in the fridge. Does anyone else get overly excited and buy up all the summer fruits? My eyes are always bigger than my stomach this time of year. But it’s OK, the extra produce in the fridge just provides me with even more inspiration.

Which brings me to this drink.

Garden Cherry Bourbon Smash | halfbakedharvest.com

Yes, this is that summer cocktail that uses up what you’ve got in the garden, plus sweet cherries, a good amount of bourbon, and spicy, sweet, and bubbly ginger beer too.

Jumping right into the details today as I promised myself that I would keep this post short and sweet. I LOVE writing these cocktail posts for you guys, but they’re meant to be a shorter post…and somehow they’ve become my most detailed. So, keeping to my word…short, sweet, and to the point today.

Garden Cherry Bourbon Smash | halfbakedharvest.com

To make this cherry bourbon smash…

It’s simple and so darn easy.

You’ll need a few things. Sweet summertime cherries (though frozen work too), freshly picked basil and thyme (but you could also do without if you don’t have), lemons, bourbon (but tequila is nice too), Cointreau (also known as orange liquor), and spicy-sweet ginger beer. Oh, and a little sugar too if you’d like to make a sweet and fun rimmed glass.

First, start with the sweet lemony ginger lined rim. It’s simply lemon zest, fresh ginger, and a pinch of granulated sugar mixed together. It adds such a spicy and sweet touch to each drink. It’s that “extra special” touch your drink needs.

Garden Cherry Bourbon Smash | halfbakedharvest.com

Next, find yourself a cocktail shaker or even just a mason jar. Muddle the cherries, basil, thyme leaves, and lemon juice together until those cherries are all smashed down. Muddling the cherries with the garden herbs infuses the flavor of the herbs into the drink in a subtle, non-overpowering way.

Now, add the bourbon, Cointreau, and white wine vinegar (for a bit of tang), and then shake, shake, shake.

Garden Cherry Bourbon Smash | halfbakedharvest.com

At this point, strain the drink into your glass and top off with that spicy ginger beer for a touch of fizz.

Super simple, but oh so pretty…the perfect cocktail to really kick off summer.

A few final notes…

This one is simple and while I love the trio of cherries, basil, and thyme, you can play around with this mix of fresh summer produce. If cherries aren’t for you, any berries or stone fruit will work well. I’d start with blackberries, but again, any berry you love. Plums would be delicious too!

And if you don’t love bourbon? Try using tequila or even vodka. Either would be great!

And the ginger beer? Well, that one’s a must. It sweetens up the drink and makes it “extra special” and so delicious. Plus it’s just my favorite…so please don’t skip it.

Have a wonderful Saturday everyone! See you all tomorrow for another Nine Favorite Things.

Garden Cherry Bourbon Smash | halfbakedharvest.com

Looking for other summer drinks? Here are a few of my go-to’s. 

Dirty Horchata

Pink Vodka Watermelon Lemonade

Frozen Brunch Punch

Lastly, if you make this garden cherry bourbon smash, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Garden Cherry Bourbon Smash | halfbakedharvest.com
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4.64 from 41 votes

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

The Recipe

Garden Cherry Bourbon Smash

A summer garden-inspired cocktail. Super simple, but oh so pretty...the perfect cocktail to really kick off summer!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 177 kcal

Ingredients

  • 6 fresh or frozen cherries, pitted
  • 4 basil leaves, plus a sprig for serving
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • juice from half of a lemon
  • 1 1/2 ounces bourbon
  • 1/2 ounce Cointreau
  • 1-2 teaspoons white wine vinegar, using to your taste
  • ginger beer, for topping

Ginger Sugar (optional)

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger (or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped thyme

Instructions

  1. 1. To make the ginger sugar. Combine the sugar, ginger, and thyme on a shallow plate. Rim your glasses in sugar, then fill with ice.

    2. In a cocktail shaker or glass jar, muddle the cherries, basil, thyme, and lemon juice, squashing everything to release the juices. Add the bourbon, Cointreau, and vinegar. Fill with ice and shake until combined.

    2. Strain into prepared glasses. Top off with ginger beer, then gently stir to combine. Finish with basil and a cherry on top. Enjoy.

Recipe Notes

If You Don't like Bourbonuse tequila! 

To Make a Mocktail: omit the vodka and add 1 additional tablespoon lemon juice and 1 additional teaspoon apple cider vinegar.

Garden Cherry Bourbon Smash | halfbakedharvest.com
Print
4.64 from 30 votes

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

The Recipe

Garden Cherry Bourbon Smash Punch

A summer garden-inspired cocktail. Super simple, but oh so pretty...the perfect cocktail to really kick off summer!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 177 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cherries, plus more for serving
  • 3/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • juice from 2 lemons (about 1/2 cup)
  • 6 ounces (3/4 cup) bourbon
  • 4 ounces (1/4 cup) Cointreau
  • 3-4 tablespoons white wine vinegar, using to your taste
  • 3-4 (12 ounce) ginger beers, for topping

Ginger Sugar

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger (or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped thyme

Instructions

  1. 1. In a pitcher, muddle the cherries, basil, and lemon juice, squashing everything to release the juices. Add the bourbon, Cointreau, and vinegar. Stir to combine. Chill until ready to serve.

    2. To make the ginger sugar. Combine the sugar, ginger, and thyme on a shallow plate. Rim your glasses in sugar, then fill with ice.

    3. Strain into prepared glasses. Top off with ginger beer, then gently stir to combine. Finish with basil and a cherry on top. Enjoy.

Recipe Notes

If You Don't like Bourbonuse tequila! 

To Make a Mocktail: omit the vodka and add 1 additional tablespoon lemon juice and 1 additional teaspoon apple cider vinegar.

Garden Cherry Bourbon Smash | halfbakedharvest.com