Brandy Smash Cocktail Recipe

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Brandy Smash Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Brandy Smash is a classic cocktail that dates back to the 19th century. It is a variation of the popular Mint Julep, which was originally made with bourbon. The Brandy Smash became popular among the upper class and was often enjoyed at social gatherings and horse races.

  • Originated in the 1800s
  • Variation of the Mint Julep
  • Popular among the upper class

How Brandy Smash Tastes?

The Brandy Smash is a refreshing, well-balanced cocktail with a hint of sweetness. The combination of brandy, mint, and sugar creates a smooth, rich flavor profile, while the crushed ice adds a cooling effect. The drink is strong, yet easy to sip, making it perfect for warm summer evenings.

Interesting facts about Brandy Smash

  • The Brandy Smash was a favorite drink of American author, Mark Twain
  • It is often considered a 'cousin' to the Whiskey Smash, which uses whiskey instead of brandy
  • The Brandy Smash was featured in Jerry Thomas' 1862 book, 'How to Mix Drinks'



Brandy is the star of the show, lending its oak-aged warmth to the cocktail. Using 2 oz keeps it strong but not overwhelming. Too much and you might feel the spirit is running the show solo; too little and it's a mint parade with no depth.

Mary Mitkina

Mint Leaves

Mint brings a fresh, vibrant kick. 6-8 leaves are enough to whisper 'I'm here' without shouting. No mint, no smash—just a lonely brandy on ice. It's like Batman without Robin—still good, but missing that extra zing.

Alex Green

Fine Sugar

Sweetness plays cupid here, marrying the brandy and mint. 1 tsp softly sweetens the deal. More would be too forward, less too shy; it's the Goldilocks of sugar quantities. Skimp on sugar and you'll have a standoffish beverage that might ghost you after one date.

Emma Rose


A humble 0.5 oz tames the fire of the brandy and helps dissolve the sugar, uniting all ingredients in harmony. No water might leave you with a grainy, hot-tempered concoction. It's the peacemaker of the drink.

Mary Mitkina

Crushed Ice

1 cup cools the passion, chilling the mixture to perfection. Crushed ice melts quicker, mellowing the drink and smoothing out any harshness. A cocktail without ice is like a beach without sand; it lacks that chill factor you want for relaxing vibes.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Brandy Smash Drink

  1. In a mixing glass, gently muddle the mint leaves with the sugar and water
  2. Add the brandy and fill the glass with crushed ice
  3. Stir the mixture until well combined and chilled
  4. Strain the cocktail into a rocks glass filled with fresh crushed ice
  5. Garnish with a sprig of mint and enjoy

Pro Tips

  • Muddle the mint leaves gently to avoid releasing the bitter flavors.
  • Use high-quality brandy for a smoother, richer taste.
  • Chill the glass before serving for an extra refreshing drink.

Perfect Pairings


  • Cheese Platter: A selection of cheeses, particularly those that are aged like Gouda or Brie, would complement the rich and warming notes of the Brandy Smash.
  • Charcuterie Board: Smoked meats can accentuate the cocktail's complexity and bring out the deep flavors.

Main Dishes

  • Grilled Meats: Brandy's bold flavor pairs nicely with grilled steak or lamb, where the smokiness of the meat matches the spirit's hearty profile.
  • Barbecue Dishes: The sweetness from the sugar in the cocktail balances the tanginess of barbecue sauces.


  • Chocolate Desserts: The natural pairing of brandy and chocolate could make for an exquisite end to a meal. Think chocolate mousse or truffles.
  • Fruit Tarts: The subtle sweetness and fruitiness of the cocktail complement fruity desserts quite well.

Non-Alcoholic Drinks

  • Sparkling Water: To cleanse the palate between sips of the cocktail.
  • Iced Tea: To provide a refreshing counterbalance with its tannic properties.

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What you could change in Brandy Smash

  • Bourbon or whiskey can be used instead of brandy.
  • Agave syrup or honey can replace the fine sugar for a different sweetness profile.
  • Lemon balm or basil can be used instead of mint for a unique twist.

Explore all drinks starting with B here

And of course - twists🍹

Apple Brandy Smash

  • Substitute the brandy with apple brandy for a fruity twist.
  • Add a splash of apple cider to emphasize the apple flavor. The taste will become crisper, more orchard-like—think of a fall harvest in a glass. This twist is perfect when you want the familiar warmth of a Brandy Smash with a hint of apple pie nostalgia.

Berry Smash

  • Muddle in a handful of mixed berries with the mint leaves.
  • Instead of sugar, use 0.5 oz of berry syrup for natural sweetness. This twist becomes a merry berry party—fruity, sweeter, and much more colorful. It's a Smash that says 'summer is here' with every sip.

Spiced Brandy Smash

  • Add a cinnamon stick and a few dashes of bitters when muddling the mint.
  • Garnish with an orange peel twist. Every sip will be a cozy, spiced blanket for your taste buds, with a citrus note that's zesty and inviting. It's the festive cousin of the original, ready to celebrate at any moment.

In case you forgot basics how to make Brandy Smash

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

The key to proper muddling is to crush the ingredients just enough to release their flavors and not overdo it. Over-muddling can result in a bitter taste, especially with herbs.

Learn everything on how to muddle

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Brandy Smash

What is a good dish to pair with a Brandy Smash cocktail?

Given its refreshing quality, the Brandy Smash pairs well with spicy dishes or grilled meats.

What occasions are best suited for the Brandy Smash cocktail?

While it can be enjoyed on any occasion, it is particularly popular for garden parties, summer barbecues, or racetrack events.

Does the type of brandy used significantly impact the flavor of the cocktail?

Different types of brandy, such as Cognac or Armagnac, can subtly vary the flavor profile of the cocktail, although the overall experience should be quite similar.

How alcoholic is a Brandy Smash cocktail?

With 2 oz of brandy, the Brandy Smash is quite potent. It's important to drink responsibly and be aware of your limits.

Does the Brandy Smash cocktail have a variation without alcohol?

Yes, for a mocktail version, you can substitute the brandy with non-alcoholic brandy or a simple sugar syrup.

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