Papaya Smash Cocktail

Tequila Avion's Papaya Smash Cocktail
Kyle Rothenborg/Perspectives/Getty Images
Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
481 Calories
3g Fat
115g Carbs
10g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 481
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 74mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 115g 42%
Dietary Fiber 19g 68%
Protein 10g
Calcium 186mg 14%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The papaya smash is an easy and delightful cocktail with a hint of margarita to it. The recipe comes from Avión and is designed to feature the brand's añejo tequila, which is an excellent base for the taste of fresh papaya. It's a fruit that isn't seen often in cocktails, but a drink like this proves that it deserves more attention than it gets.

To make this drink even most interesting, Aperol is the orange liqueur of choice. Its bitter profile and use as an aperitif help make the papaya smash a wonderful drink to pair with any meal. The bright, fresh taste is particularly fitting for spring or summer brunch on the patio or a backyard barbecue with a few good friends.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a mixing glass or cocktail shaker, add a slice of fresh papaya and the agave nectar.

  3. Muddle to release the papaya's flavor.

  4. Add the tequila, Aperol, orange juice, and lime juice, then fill with ice.

  5. Shake vigorously.

  6. Strain over fresh ice in an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a fresh slice of papaya.

  7. Serve and enjoy!


  • Fresh papaya is easy to cut and prepare. Add as much as you like to the muddle because more papaya will not hurt this drink! Be sure to remove the peel. The seeds have a strong mustard-peppercorn flavor, so avoid getting those into your drink. For the garnish, try a few papaya balls (scooped out with a melon baller) rather than a slice.
  • If you're going to use another tequila, make sure it's top-shelf. This cocktail really deserves the best tequila you can afford to pour. A reposado tequila would be a good substitute for the añejo, though blanco tequilas may be too transparent.
  • Fresh-squeezed citrus juices are highly recommended for this cocktail. One orange will yield 2 to 3 ounces, more than enough for a few drinks. For the lime, you'll need about one lime per cocktail and can even simply squeeze two halves directly into the cocktail shaker.

Recipe Variations

  • Transform this drink into a frozen cocktail by combining the ingredients with 1 cup of ice (about 5 or 6 ice cubes) in a blender.
  • Make this drink with other tropical fruit, either with papaya or as a substitute. Mango and pineapple would both be fun options that can add a nice spark to the cocktail.

How Strong Is a Papaya Smash?

The papaya smash is a perfectly balanced cocktail for a casual occasion. It's neither too strong nor too light but falls right in the middle. Its alcohol content is around 15 percent ABV (30 proof), making it similar to drinking a glass of wine.