The smash tends to be outshined by its more famous relative, the Mint Julep. Not crowned with the same fussy garnish and without its own namesake cup, the smash’s simplicity is actually its biggest asset. Consider, for instance, the Whiskey Smash. Jerry Thomas referred to it as “the julep on a small plan,” a refreshing mix of spirit, sugar and mint that’s the ideal complement to any warm day.
Modern iterations take the drink in a range of new directions, swapping out mint for basil, for example, or putting an aperitivo spin on it, courtesy of amaro. Others even take the work out of muddling, calling instead for simply shaking with fresh fruit and fine-straining, or simplifying the build by pouring it over regular ice cubes instead of crushed. No matter which direction you take the smash, the easygoing format is a fast track to refreshment. Here are six of our favorites.