This Apple and Thyme smash is perfect for you! It’s officially fall and this is the time of year when apples and pumpkin recipes smack you in the face! But I am not complaining… This Apple and Thyme Smash is a great transitional cocktail to kick off fall! The apples add such a freshness to your cocktail, the thyme brings it back down to earth, and the apple cider takes you back in time to sippin’ hot apple cider as a kid in the mountains!
You are the Apple of my Eye
When choosing apples for cocktails, you generally want apples that offer a balanced sweetness and a pleasant texture. For the Apple and Thyme Smash, you are definitely going to want to pick a very fresh apple! Here are some apple varieties commonly used in cocktails:
- Granny Smith: Known for their tartness and crisp texture, Granny Smith apples can add a refreshing, tangy element to cocktails. They work well in sour or crisp cocktails.
- Honeycrisp: Honeycrisp apples are sweet and juicy with a hint of tartness. They can add a pleasant sweetness to your cocktail without being overly sugary.
- Fuji: Fuji apples are sweet, crisp, and often have a hint of spice. They are a versatile choice that can complement a wide range of cocktail flavors.
- Gala: Gala apples are known for their sweet and slightly floral flavor. They work well in cocktails that benefit from a natural sweetness.
- Pink Lady: Pink Lady apples are both sweet and tart, making them a well-balanced choice for cocktails. They can add complexity to your drink.
- Crispin (or Mutsu): Crispin apples are mildly sweet and have a pleasant crunch. They can be used in cocktails where you want a subtle apple flavor.
- Grenadine Apples: These small, red apples are quite sweet and are commonly used to make grenadine syrup, which is a popular cocktail ingredient.
When choosing apples for your cocktail, consider the flavor profile of the cocktail and whether you want the apple flavor to be a dominant or subtle element. Additionally, you can experiment by mixing different apple varieties to achieve the desired balance of sweetness and tartness for your specific cocktail recipe. For the Apple and Thyme Smash, we used Honeycrisp!
What is a Smash Cocktail?
A smash cocktail is a type of mixed drink that typically consists of a base spirit (often whiskey, but it can be made with other spirits like gin or rum), fresh fruit or herbs, sugar or sweetener, and ice. The name “smash” is derived from the idea of muddling or “smashing” the ingredients together to release their flavors and create a refreshing and flavorful beverage, which is what we have done to make this Apple and Thyme Smash!
The history of the smash cocktail dates back to the 19th century and is closely related to the broader category of cocktails known as “juleps.” Juleps are drinks made with a base spirit, sugar, and fresh mint, typically served over crushed ice. The smash is essentially a variation of the julep, and its origins are intertwined with the evolution of mixed drinks in America.
Here’s a brief overview of the history of the smash cocktail:
- Early 19th Century: The term “smash” first appeared in bartending literature in the early 19th century, with references to “gin smashes” and “brandy smashes.” These early smashes were simple drinks that combined a spirit with sugar and mint, often served over crushed ice. The use of fresh mint was a key characteristic.
- Kentucky Influence: Kentucky, known for its bourbon production, played a significant role in the development of the smash. Mint juleps, a popular Southern cocktail, were the inspiration for many smashes. The use of bourbon in smashes became particularly common.
- Variation and Evolution: Over time, the smash evolved to include a wider range of spirits, including gin, rum, and other liquors. The addition of fresh fruit, such as berries or citrus, and various sweeteners like simple syrup or fruit syrups, contributed to the diversification of the smash cocktail.
- Popularity and Adaptation: In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, smash cocktails were widely enjoyed in bars and saloons across America. Bartenders and enthusiasts would often adapt the recipe to suit seasonal ingredients and regional preferences.
- Modern Resurgence: The smash cocktail experienced a resurgence in popularity during the cocktail revival of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Mixologists began rediscovering classic recipes and experimenting with new variations, leading to a renewed interest in this refreshing style of cocktail.
Apple and Thyme Smash
An Apple and Thyme Smash cocktail made with apples, thyme, bourbon, and apple cider offers a delightful blend of flavors that can be both refreshing and comforting. Here’s a description of the flavors you can expect from this cocktail:
- Apple: The predominant flavor in this cocktail is, of course, apple. The combination of fresh apples and apple cider provides a sweet and slightly tart apple essence that’s both crisp and refreshing. The apple flavor serves as the cocktail’s backbone and sets a fruity and inviting tone.
- Thyme: The thyme adds an herbal and aromatic element to the cocktail. Thyme’s herbaceous and earthy notes complement the apple’s sweetness, providing depth and complexity to the flavor profile. It also contributes a subtle savory undertone that balances the overall sweetness.
- Bourbon: The bourbon adds warmth and richness to the cocktail. It brings a caramel and vanilla sweetness with hints of oak and spice. Bourbon’s inherent complexity marries well with the apple and thyme, creating a harmonious combination of flavors.
- Apple Cider: Apple cider not only reinforces the apple flavor but also provides a velvety, smooth texture to the cocktail. It contributes an additional layer of apple sweetness and a touch of acidity that enhances the overall balance.
Together, these ingredients create a well-rounded flavor profile for the Apple and Thyme Smash cocktail. You can expect a refreshing burst of apple sweetness upfront, followed by the herbal and earthy notes of thyme, all complemented by the bourbon’s warmth and complexity. The apple cider ties everything together, providing a smooth and satisfying mouthfeel. This cocktail is a perfect balance of fruity, herbal, and boozy elements, making it a delightful choice for those who appreciate a well-crafted and flavorful drink- add in the smokey element and the flavors are amped up to 100 and crate the perfect harmony!
Apple and Thyme Smash
- Cocktail Shaker
- Smokeshow Cocktail Smoker
- Butane Torch
- Cocktail Strainer
- 2 oz bourbon
- 2 oz apple cider
- 1/2 apple sliced muddled
- 1 thyme bunch muddled
- ginger beer to top
Garnish & Smoke
- thyme sprig to garnish
- 1 pinch Thyme Smoke Dust
- Muddle apple and thyme in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add bourbon and apple cider and shake vigourusly with ice.2 oz bourbon, 2 oz apple cider, 1/2 apple sliced muddled, 1 thyme bunch muddled
- Double strain into a glass.
Garnish & Smoke
- Place smoker on top of the cocktail. Smoke with Thyme, top with ginger beer until glass fills. Garnish!thyme sprig to garnish, 1 pinch Thyme Smoke Dust