Royal Smash Cocktail

Royal Combier's Royal Smash Cocktail
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  • Total: 5 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 cocktail (1 serving)

The royal smash cocktail is a delightful twist on the classic whiskey smash. It replaces the whiskey with Royal Combier, an orange liqueur that is a blend of triple sec, Cognac and a 19th-century liqueur called Elixir de Combier. When this medley of flavors is paired with freshly muddled lemon and mint the result is quite spectacular as the lemon enhances the orange essence.

Since this recipe is closely related to the mint julep, try serving it over crushed ice rather than cubes. It's a small difference that can make a big impact.


  • 2 ounces Royal Combier
  • 1/2 lemon (cut into 4 chunks)
  • 6 to 8 mint leaves
  • Garnish: mint sprig

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a cocktail shaker, add the mint leaves and lemon wedges. Muddle well.

  3. Add Royal Combier and ice and shake hard.

  4. Strain over fresh ice in an old-fashioned glass and garnish with a fresh mint sprig.

  5. Serve and enjoy!


  • Since you're muddling the lemon with the peel, be sure to rinse the fruit very well before cutting it. It's also a good idea to run the mint under water while it's still on the stem.
  • Sometimes it's helpful to wake up the essence in the mint prior to muddling. To do this, slap the leaves between your palms or tear them slightly.
  • Spearmint is the most common variety of mint and it's likely what you'll be buying at the grocer when the package simply says "mint." Yet, there are many interesting flavors available and some could add a fun twist to this drink. Try it with pineapple or chocolate mint!
  • There is really no ideal substitute for Royal Combier because it's a special blend. That said, give this recipe a try with Grand Marnier if you like. It's also an orange liqueur with a Cognac base and would do very well against the lemon and mint.

Recipe Variations

  • Spritz this drink up and serve it a little taller by adding club soda. Simply pour it at the end and fill the glass.
  • Combine the whiskey smash and royal smash by pouring both liquors. Simply pour 1 ounce each of a good whiskey (rye or bourbon) and Royal Combier. Brandy would be an excellent pairing with the liqueur as well. When doing this, use the royal smash recipe; the whiskey smash adds simple syrup, which is unnecessary because the liqueur is sweetened.

How Strong Is a Royal Smash?

Royal Combier is bottled at 76 proof, so it's not a light liqueur. That and the fact that you're not adding much more than a little dilution and lemon juice means this is a pretty strong drink. The royal smash will have an alcohol content somewhere around 25 percent ABV (50 proof), which is well over half the strength of the liqueur on its own.