The classic Gin Smash is a cousin of the Mint Julep. It consists of muddled mint, gin, seltzer water, and is oh-so-refreshing on a hot summer day. I can barely imagine a more idyllic afternoon than a porch, some sun, and one of these in hand.
Like lime and gin, Gin and mint are a classic combination.
Here is a recipe adapted from one of the original, from Jerry Thomas’ classic guide, How to Mix Drinks:
1/2 tablespoon of sugar
2 ounces of gin
a glass 2/3 full with shaved ice
3 – 4 sprigs of mint
These are the instructions one might use today to make the drink. Muddle the mint in a shaker, add gin and sugar and ice. Shake well to dissolve. Strain drink into a glass with ice and garnish with a fresh sprig of mint.
This is how the cocktail aficionado Jerry Thomas would have you make it. They are the same instructions for making the cocktail as a mint julep.
Jerry Thomas’ Instructions for a Gin Smash
“Take three or four sprigs of fresh mint, and press them well in the sugar and water,until the flavor of the mint is extracted; add one and a half wine-glass of Cognac brandy [in this case gin], and fill the glass with fine shaved ice, then draw out the springs of mint and insert the stems downward, so that the leaves will be above, in the shape of a bouquet; arrange berries, and small pieces of sliced orange on top in a tasty manner, dash with Jamaica rum, and sprinkle white sugar on top. Place a straw … and you have a julep that is fit for an emperor.”