Green Whiskey Smash

What was your first cocktail? Not the one you used to sip when your parents weren't looking, but the first cocktail you ever ordered at a proper bar?

Mine was a Whiskey Sour. I was about 16 and out with my cousin and some of her friends at a bar in Puerto Rico. By this point, I'd had plenty of wine and sangria--both of which my dad always let me drink along with the family when we had dinner at Spanish restaurants. There was nothing intimidating about wine to me, but...a cocktail?

That felt

And so when my cousin's handsome friend (with whom I'd been flirting all evening and would certainly kiss before the night was through) asked me what I wanted to drink, I blurted out the only cocktail I could think of:

A Whiskey Sour.

I chose it because I had remembered my mom telling me stories about how that was her cocktail of choice when she was in her twenties. She said it was sweet and tasted like lemonade, both of which sounded good to me.

I was unfortunately not as prepared for the follow-up question. "What whiskey?"

"Um..." I looked up at my companion who gallantly stepped in and chose for me.

I had that first cocktail in mind when I worked out the second signature cocktail for my St. Patrick's Day party. I wanted something a bit sweet and a bit sour that would be refreshing and work well in a punch bowl.

While doing research, I came across a recipe for Shamrock Punch, which was based on a 19th century bar punch made with mint, borage (a cucumber-flavored herb native to the UK) and lime sherbet--essentially the UK name for a citrus simple syrup.

I decided to reinvent this as a muddled cocktail and so I present to you, my Green Whiskey Smash.

Click here for more Irish inspired St. Patrick's Day recipes!

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Green Whiskey Smash
Serves 1
1/2 lime, cut into small wedges
1/4 cup diced cucumber
5 sprigs fresh mint, plus more for garnish
2 ounces whiskey
4 ounces cold limeade (I like Newman's or Simply Limeade)

Combine the lime, cucumber and mint in the bottom of a glass and muddle to release the juices. Fill the glass with ice and pour in whiskey. Top off with limeade. Garnish with fresh mint and a wedge of lime or cucumber wheel.

Can also be multiplied and served as a punch.

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