This Grapefruit and Thyme Bourbon Smash is full of bright citrus flavour and aromatic herbs, showcasing the best of winter seasonal fruit. Muddled lime and thyme, combined with fresh grapefruit juice and delicious bourbon, it’s the perfect way to get the most out of those amazing grapefruits. This cocktail is refreshing, full of flavour and totally gorgeous – it’s the perfect cocktail to serve at any occasion.
I am so excited to share this Grapefruit and Thyme Bourbon Smash with you today, just in time for the weekend! I’ve had the idea for this cocktail floating around my head for many months, and I finally got it out of my brain and into the glass! The “smash” is a family of cocktails that are very easy to make and totally customisable. There are many differing views on how the loose the definition should be, but in my opinion all it needs to do is follow the formula of a seasonal fruit, a sweetener and a herb. These are muddled, or smashed, together – hence the name. You can either just use the fruit to garnish or you can mix fruit juice with the spirit you are using. And you can use pretty much any spirit you like, whiskey, I believe, is the traditional spirit of choice – but the Smash has so many variations, you’re truly free to use what you like and still call it a Smash!
The Grapefruit and Thyme Bourbon Smash is a stirred cocktail, and is served over ice. And, of course, it sticks to the Smash formula – with grapefruit being the seasonal fruit (they’re so good right now, and will be in season until around May), a little sugar for sweetener, and fresh thyme for the herb component. I use a little lime to add a bit zest to the flavour, and only a little sugar as I don’t like my cocktails too sweet. I also add some angostura aromatic bitters, since there’s not a lot of sugar so the bitters well help mellow the acidity of the grapefruit and deepen the flavour.
This is quite possibly one of my favourite cocktails that I have made. I say that every time, don’t I? I can’t help it, I’m just in love with mixing cocktails and I fall in love with every successful cocktail I create – I’m cocktail polygamist! As I said, I had the idea for this cocktail swimming around for a long time, and that idea inspired the Grapefruit and Thyme Fizz Mocktail I created at Christmas. I could have just left it there and consider the idea brought to life, but I couldn’t help but make a cocktail version – the Grapefruit and Thyme Bourbon Smash was the perfect platform for it to really come to life.
It’s such a pretty cocktail as well, so bright and colourful, it can’t help bring a smile to my face. It’s not just about looks of course, that gorgeous cocktail tastes even more beautiful than it looks! When grapefruits are at their best their tart and bitter flavour is balanced the sweetness of an orange. I prefer to use red grapefruit for this Grapefruit and Thyme Bourbon Smash, because the colour is beautiful and I love the sweet-tart balance it brings. Pink grapefruit would work wonderfully too though. Grapefruit and Thyme are a match made in heaven too, they are strong flavours that complement each other beautifully rather than competing for the spotlight.
We’re in March now, this year is flying by already. And there are so many spring holidays to prepare for, and, as usual, I am running behind schedule! However, the air still has a bitter chill and though the days are getting longer, it still feels like winter here in the UK, it’s hard to get in the spring frame of mind! Besides, I really wanted to celebrate amazing grapefruits while they’re still in season and at their most delicious. Depending where you live, grapefruit will stay in season until around May time so there is plenty of time to enjoy them – even out of season, they’re still pretty darn yummy! Cocktails are one of my favourite ways to enjoy fresh, seasonal fruit. And this Grapefruit and Thyme Bourbon Smash really lets what’s special about grapefruits shine bright!
So forget about the fact it’s still raining and cold outside and mix yourself up a Grapefruit and Thyme Bourbon Smash, and enjoy the best of what winter has to offer! The bright colours and refreshing taste will make it feel like spring in your mouth, and I think I may need to sip on a few of these to get spring ready in the Giraffes Can Bake kitchen! What is your favourite way to enjoy fresh, seasonal fruit?
Grapefruit and Thyme Bourbon Smash
Yield 2 Cocktails
Muddled lime and thyme, combined with fresh grapefruit juice and delicious bourbon, it’s the perfect way to get the most out of those amazing grapefruits. This Grapefruit and Thyme Bourbon Smash Cocktail is refreshing, full of flavour and totally gorgeous – it’s the perfect cocktail to serve at any occasion.
- 10 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 lime wedge
- 1/2 tbsp white sugar
- 10 ice cubes
- 3.5 oz (100 ml) Bourbon
- 2/3 cup (150 ml) fresh grapefruit juice (approx 1 grapefruit)
- 4 dashes angostura aromatic bitters
- Ice to serve
- 2 grapefruit slices to serve
- 2 lime wedges to serve
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme to serve
- 1 cocktail shaker
- 1 muddler
- 1 long cocktail spoon or equivalent
- 1 strainer
- 2 chilled rocks/old fashioned glasses
- Remove the thyme leaves from the sprigs (don't worry if you get some stalks) and add to a cocktail shaker with the lime wedge and sugar. Muddle to release the juice from the lime and flavour from the thyme, muddle for at least 60 seconds.
- Add 10 ice cubes, the bourbon, grapefruit juice and bitters to the shaker. And stir for 20 seconds.
- Fill your chilled rocks glasses with ice, and strain the cocktail between the two glasses
- Garnish each glass with a grapefruit slice, a lime wedge and a sprig of thyme
- Serve immediately
If you don't have cocktail shakers and muddlers, you can improvise. As long as you have a large glass to mix the cocktail in and something that will crush and release the flavours of the thyme! If you like to make cocktails though, it's definitely worth investing in some equipment - you can get it pretty cheap on Amazon!