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
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
288 Calories
1g Fat
45g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 288
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 15mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 45g 16%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 35g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 123mg 613%
Calcium 40mg 3%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 389mg 8%
*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.


  • 2 papaya slices, divided

  • 3/4 ounce agave nectar

  • 1 1/2 ounces añejo tequila

  • 1/2 ounce Aperol

  • 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a mixing glass or cocktail shaker, add 1 slice of fresh papaya and the agave nectar.

  3. Muddle to release the papaya's flavor.

  4. Add the tequila, Aperol, and lime and orange juices. Fill with ice.

  5. Shake vigorously.

  6. Strain over fresh ice in an old-fashioned glass.

  7. Garnish with the remaining slice of papaya. 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.