Is there any cocktail more refreshing on a scorching, arid summer day than a bourbon smash? In this cocktail, Basil Hayden’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon is infused with fresh muddled cherries, basil, lemon wedges, and just a hint of honey syrup. For a more refined drinking experience, the recipe strains the muddled fruit and herbs out and serves the cocktail over a big rock to maintain maximum chill. The sweet-tart cherries and fragrant basil play nicely with the smooth, lightly spiced notes of the Basil Hayden’s, but this bourbon’s versatility means you could swap in almost any manner of summer fruits and herbs, like fresh peaches and mint or blackberries and thyme.
To make the honey syrup, combine equal parts honey and water in a saucepan set over medium heat, and stir until the honey is dissolved. Let it cool and store in the fridge for about 2 weeks. Simple syrup would also work great here. —Max Rappaport