Blueberry Bourbon Smash

A New, Northern Summer Cocktail Recipe

blueberry leaf garnish optional; fancy stump side table required

2017 was a great year for blueberries.

Supposedly, there’s a connection between the abundance of blackflies in any given year and the blueberry crop. Blackflies don’t pollinate blueberries, but if the bugs are atrocious in spring, the blueberries will be incredible come August. It was an awfully wet summer in Ontario – we had 14 days of rain on an 18-day trip this year – and our toil and slogging through the mud was rewarded with enough blueberries to bake  a pie every day.

We took advantage of this harvest. I’m no baker, but I am a decent Backcountry Bartender. This cocktail quickly became our new favourite.


2 handfuls of ripe, wild blueberries

1 package of Country Time lemonade mix

1 L water

a good-sized slug of bourbon


Gather blueberries and divide between two cups. Mash the berries with a spoon until you’re left with a bunch of goop in the bottom of your cup. Mix the powdered lemonade with 1 litre of water. Pour a healthy swig of bourbon into each glass (an ounce and a half is the minimum amount… add more to taste/desired drunkenness) and stir with the berries. Top with enough lemonade mix to dilute the bourbon to your preferred strength. Let stand 5-10 minutes until it’s a pretty pink-y purple colour: the longer it sits, the stronger the blueberry taste. Garnish with a blueberry leaf if you’re feeling fancy. Use the leftover lemonade to make a second round. You’ll definitely want another.


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