Garden Smash



by Raul Faria

The Garden Smash was my entry into the Maison Leblon World Cup competition with the Grand Prize being a trip to Brazil and the World Cup. We were tasked with creating a cocktail featuring Leblon Cachaca and a “creative entry”. Leblon’s guidelines on the creative entry were pretty loose but some of the examples they used were singing and dancing…anyone who has seen me do either would know that was not an option. So I decided to film myself in the Mixology Made Simple format (with some added Brazilian flair) and prepare the Garden Smash. I also promised to get a “Live, Love, Leblon” Tattoo. I figured who could resist non stop advertising on the Las Vegas strip by way of my arm. Sure beats a song or a dance in my book 🙂 Check out our Facebook page for updates on the competition and stay tuned for pics of the Tattoo if I’m chosen to go to Brazil. Wanna make a Garden Smash?

This cocktail has two preparation methods, in and out. This simply means that you can have the fruit in or out of the glass by choosing to strain the fruit out of the cocktail. Pretty much boils down to preference, either method gives you a tasty cocktail so go with what you dig. I prefer the rustic “in” presentation myself

1) We have some prep to get our prep done first-

Half Lime Quarters– Begin by slicing off the ends of the lime, next slice it in half. Now we will take that half and cut it into quarters.

Half Lemon Quarters– Begin by slicing off the ends of the lemon, next slice it in half. Now we will take that half and cut it into quarters.

Cucumber Puree– For this we will need a high speed Blender and an English Cucumber. Cut the cucumber into small chunks and throw it into the Blender, next add 1-2 oz water. Start with 1 oz and add from there as you do not want it to dilute too much.

2) Now that the prep is done lets get our tools together; we will need our Boston Shaker, Hawthorne Strainer, our Barspoon, a Jigger with a 1 oz and a .5 oz measure, and a 14 oz Double Old Fashioned for the in method or a 16 oz Collins glass for the out method. Our Shopping list will include Leblon Cachaca, Absinthe, Fever Tree Ginger Beer, Limes, Lemons, Cucumbers, Sage Leaves, and superfine sugar (or granulated sugar if you can’t find the superfine sugar). Optional tool will be a Double-Strainer to catch any pulp or seeds.

3) Lets begin by getting out our pre chilled Glass of choice, the 14 oz Double Old Fashioned for the in (with the muddled fruit in) and the 16 oz Collins glass for the out (muddled fruit strained out). Add .25 oz of absinthe to our glass of choice and set aside.

4) Time to add our half lime cut into quarters, our 2 lemon quarters and our 2-3 Sage leaves to the glass. Now if we are making the in method we will begin by swishing the absinthe around in the glass and then dump it out, next we will be adding the fruit and herbs into the Double Old Fashioned glass. The out method we will be adding the fruit and herbs to our mixing glass portion of the Boston Shaker.

5) Now let’s add our 3 barspoons (roughly a level tablespoon) full of superfine sugar. Again, if you can’t find the superfine feel free to use granulated. The superfine sugar will dissolve more easily then the granulated.

6) Next we will muddle the sugar, fruit and herbs. When making the in method we will be muddling directly into our Double Old Fashioned Glass. The out method will be prepared by muddling into the glass portion of the Boston Shaker.

7) Lets add our .5 oz cucumber puree to our glass of choice. We have our recipe to make our own or we can order Boiron Cucumber puree and skip the blender action.

8) Time for the star if the show, Leblon Cachaca. We are going to add 2 oz into our glass. Cachaca is a sugar cane distillate like rum but is made from sugar cane juice (whereas most rum is made from molasses), also Cachaca can only be produced in Brazil. Leblon Cachaca is rested for 6 months in XO Cognac casks, produced via Alambique copper pot stills and has a big, bright, funky flavor with notes of melon, vanilla and citrus.

9) Now let’s add ice to our glass and shake. With the in method you will be shaking with the Double Old Fashioned glass and the Boston Shaker tin. The out method will be shaken with the Boston Shaker mixing glass and tin.

10) Now we will dump the contents back into the Double Old Fashioned glass when preparing the in method. When preparing the out method we will need to first dump out our Absinthe from our 16 oz Collins glass, ice it up and strain into the iced up glass.

11) Lastly we will add our 2-3 oz of Fever Tree Ginger Beer and stir lightly with the barspoon. When making the in method be sure to top it off with some fresh ice, the out method is ready to go. Garnish with a Sage Sprig and a lemon wheel. Enjoy!

Click here to check out my Maison Leblon World Cup Creative Entry here. This video will show you step by step the process of making the in version of the Garden Smash.

Garden Smash– Begin by wasing a glass in.25oz of Absinthe and set aside, next add 2-3 Sage Leaves, half Lime cut into quarters, 2 quarters of a Lemon half, 3 barspoons of superfine sugar, muddle contents, add 2 oz of Leblon Cachaca, .5 oz of homemade cucumber puree or Boiron Cucumber puree, now add ice and shake, strain into chilled, iced, Absinthe washed glass, top off with 2-3 oz Fever Tree Ginger Beer and stir lightly. Garnish with a Sage Sprig and a Lemon Wheel.

Next time you’re in Vegas be sure to stop by the Gordon Ramsay Pub and Grill at Caesars Palace and get a Garden Smash!

Update! Yours truly has been chosen to be among the eleven other Mixologists and Bartenders to represent Maison Leblon at the World Cup in Brazil. Stay tuned for more 🙂


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1 Comment(s)

  1. […] spirit of mine for a long time and we’ve used it in many of our most popular recipes like the Garden Smash and Suika Caipirinha. It has a big fresh flavor with tons of citrus and vanilla notes and really […]

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