Whiskey Smash · Eastern Standard
Captain Lou (Off the Top Rope) · Russell House Tavern
The Opening Line · Myers + Chang
It’s possible that no off-menu drink is ordered as frequently as the Whiskey Smash at Eastern Standard.
“We haven’t had it on the menu for many years, and it’s still called upon,” says bar manager Diego Peña. “So much that we make three at a time.”
The genius of this simple cocktail lies in the details. Eastern Standard uses wheated bourbon—90-proof W.L. Weller Special Reserve, in this case—as it lacks the “grassy” quality sometimes found in other bourbons or ryes, according to Peña. It’s also dry-shaken, because the crushed ice it’s served on acts as the diluting agent.
Before muddling together the citrus, mint, and simple syrup, Eastern Standard bartenders split a half of a lemon into “muddles,” slicing off the end and then dividing the rest into four slices with cross-sectional cuts. The muddling lends a bright snap of lemon to the refreshing whiskey drink with a clean, minty finish. It’s just what you want after a sun-soaked afternoon at Fenway Park—or when visiting Eastern Standard on Derby Day, where it serves as the brasserie’s unofficial mint julep alternative.
“Juleps tend to be on the sweeter side,” Peña says. “The Whiskey Smash will have some acidity to help balance the sweetness.”
2 ounces W.L. Weller Special Reserve
1 ounce simple syrup
½ lemon, cut into four “muddles”
4-5 mint leaves
Mint sprig, for garnish
Add mint, lemon, and simple syrup to shaker and muddle. Add bourbon, then dry shake to combine. Strain into rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with mint sprig.