This Apple Thyme Bourbon Smash is the most refreshing cocktail! It's filled with a homemade apple thyme simple syrup, bourbon, fresh lemon juice, and soda water for the best bourbon cocktail recipe.
Like my Apple Cider Sangria, we are using fresh apples as the star of this bourbon smash!
The key to this cocktail is to use a sweeter apple that will caramelize and release a delicious apple flavor when cooked. Add in some thyme, lemon, and bourbon and you have the perfect cozy and fresh summer cocktail!
How to make an apple bourbon smash
Make the apple thyme syrup
The first step to making this apple bourbon smash is to make the apple cocktail syrup. It's the only step in this recipe that takes a little bit of time, but it's actually incredibly simple!
I first made a simple syrup with real fruit in my Pear Vanilla Gin Fizz, so this recipe has some similar steps if you've tried that cocktail.
First, chop the apples into bite-size pieces. Then, add the apples to a pan along with dried thyme sprigs, sugar, and water.
After that, bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 10-15 minutes. You will know the simple syrup is ready when the liquid has begun to turn a light brown and caramelize and the apples are beginning to soften (see pictures below for reference).
At this point, I prefer to add the simple syrup to a container and let it sit in the fridge for an hour or two for the most apple flavor. However, if you don't want to wait that long just make sure the simple syrup has cooled completely before using it.
Assemble the apple bourbon cocktail:
Now that the thyme simple syrup has cooled, add it to a cocktail shaker and muddle it. Then, fill the cocktail shaker with ice and shake it to chill the syrup. I like to add ice to my glasses first and then pour in about 3 oz of the simple syrup per cocktail.
Once the syrup is in, add in 1.5 oz bourbon per cocktail. It's also worth mentioning that this cocktail also works as an apple whiskey smash- just replace the bourbon 1:1 for whiskey!
Then, add in about 1 oz of freshly squeezed lemon juice for the perfect tang.
Finally, top each bourbon lemon cocktail with soda water. I used lemon soda water, but unflavored also works. Stir it all together to combine all the flavors of this cocktail.
I like to garnish this apple cocktail with additional apple slices and a sprig of dried thyme. This way, your bourbon smash not only tastes great, but it looks great too!
I truly hope you enjoy this refreshing Apple Bourbon Thyme Smash! It's the perfect mix of sweet apple flavor, earthy thyme, fresh lemon, and caramel bourbon. Enjoy!
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Apple Bourbon Thyme Smash
Apple Thyme Simple Syrup (Makes enough for 2-3 cocktails)
- 1 cup sweet red apples
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup organic sugar
- 4 sprigs dried thyme
For one cocktail:
- 3 oz apple thyme simple syrup *made above
- 1 ½ oz bourbon
- 1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 oz soda water lemon or unflavored works
- 3 apple slices optional, as garnish
- 1-2 sprigs dried thyme optional, as garnish
- First, make the apple thyme simple syrup. Add the diced apples, water, sugar, and dried thyme to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook together for 10-15 minutes, stirring continuously. The syrup is ready when the liquid has begun to turn a very light brown and caramelize and the apples are beginning to soften.
- Remove the simple syrup from the heat and add to a container to cool completely before using. I recommend storing the simple syrup in the fridge for 1-2 hours for the best flavor, but this is optional.
- Once the syrup has cooled, add it to a cocktail shaker and muddle the apples until all the juice has been released. Then, fill the cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously to chill.
- To make one cocktail, fill up a cocktail glass with 2-3 large ice cubes. Then, add in 3 oz apple thyme simple syrup, 1.5 oz bourbon, 1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice, and top with 3 oz soda water. Stir together and then garnish with fresh apple slices and dried thyme. Serve and enjoy!
- Extra apple thyme simple syrup can be stored in the fridge in a closed container for 3-4 days to be used in cocktails