French Quarter Smash

A French Quarter Smash cocktail

Jason Rogers

  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Syrup: 30 mins
  • Yield: 1 cocktail (1 serving)

Moonshine, brandy, and blueberries in the same drink, is that possible? It is and Washington D.C. bartender Jason Rogers has created this delightful cocktail he calls the French Quarter Smash to prove that they can work very well together.

The drink is actually very simple. The recipe requires whatever moonshine you can get your hands on, a "fine brandy," fresh mint, and lemon. A touch of housemade almond syrup and blueberry preserves finish the mix off perfectly. It's fun, unique, and one of the tastiest ways to drink moonshine.

Ingredients

  • For the Almond Syrup
  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract (organic)
  • For the French Quarter Smash:
  • 1 1/4 ounces moonshine
  • 3/4 ounce​ brandy (E&J XO recommended)
  • 3​ wedges lemon
  • 6-8 fresh​ mint leaves (fresh)
  • 1/4 ounce almond syrup
  • 2 teaspoons blueberry preserves (Bonne Maman​)

Steps to Make It

Make the Almond Syrup

Beyond this cocktail, you can use this syrup as a substitute for amaretto syrups to sweeten coffee and to give that rich amaretto flavor to other non-alcoholic drinks. It should keep well in a tightly sealed jar or bottle for two weeks in the refrigerator.

  1. Bring the sugar and water to a boil, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved.

  2. Reduce heat to a simmer, and stir in the almond extract.

  3. Taste for the desired potency and add small amounts of extract as needed. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for about 20 minutes.

Make the French Quarter Smash

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the lemon wedges and almond syrup until all of the juices are extracted. 

  3. Add the remaining ingredients and fill the shaker with ice.

  4. Shake vigorously to fully mix the preserves. 

  5. Double strain into an old-fashioned glass with one large ice cube. Garnish with a fresh sprig of mint.

  6. Serve and enjoy!

Tips

  • Once relegated to the backwoods, moonshine is becoming quite popular in the legal market, so it's getting easier to find. There are some fascinating brands of this unaged corn whiskey available now and you'll want to try a few to find one that suits your taste. Virginia Lightning from Belmont Farm Distillery, Midnight Moonshine, and Manhattan Moonshine are great choices.
  • The blueberry preserves are another unique element that's not often seen in cocktails, and you have to admire their effect. The cocktail requires a bit more shaking to ensure that the preserves are properly mixed, though the texture that results from using them is spectacular.
  • If you have blueberries in your garden, you might think about using homemade blueberry jam as well.

How Strong Is a French Quarter Smash?

The alcohol content of this drink is going to depend on the strength of the moonshine and brandy you pour. If you choose 80-proof spirits for both, you're looking at a drink in the 17 percent ABV (34 proof) range. To put that into perspective, it's just like drinking a whiskey highball.

Recipe Tags: