A red smash is a devilishly delicious version of smash cocktails and a perfect transition from summer into fall. Wine isn’t usually invited to the smash bash, but we love adding all the benefits of red wine to our new favorite mocktail.
Whether you want to be more mindful about your drinking or love the idea of a new twist on a classic smash, you’ll love this recipe that’s got a little sweet, spice, and everything nice.
What is a Smash Cocktail?
A smash cocktail is a type of julep that typically includes ice, muddled seasonal fruits, a sweetener, and a spirit of choice. Many easy cocktail recipes in this realm call for fresh mint leaves or other herbs, you’re free to choose your own adventure, especially if you want to incorporate red wine.
The liqueur or spirit that precedes the name is usually the star of the show. Tequila, gin, or brandy are all smash-worthy. Love whiskey? You’ll probably enjoy a whiskey smash, a sweeter take on a whiskey sour. A Sinatra Smash has crème de cassis added to the mix.
Our Favorite Non-Alcoholic Bourbons
Let’s get something out of the way before we launch into our favorite non-alcoholic spirits. Bourbon is a type of whiskey produced in the United States. The American version is sweeter than related spirits like rye whiskey because it has to include at least 51% corn in its fermentation.
If you see the word “whisky” on a label, you’re not dealing with an American-made product. It could be from Scotland, Japan, or Canada, and it’s definitely not bourbon.
Classic bourbon cocktails include the old fashioned, mint julep, and bourbon smash. (No shade on whiskey smashes!) For our purposes, we like non-alcoholized versions that get close to the sweet and spicy notes of a solid bourbon. Seir Hill’s Mashville and Spiritless Kentucky 74 would both work well here.
Why We Chose to Sweeten with Monk Fruit
Monk fruit is a zero-calorie, zero-carbohydrate sugar substitute that comes from monk fruit extract. It’s much sweeter than white or brown sugars, so you won’t use as much in your cocktails, baking, or other recipes.
While it’s not completely natural — it still goes through some processing to get to the right taste and consistency — we like that it’s not an artificial sweetener. It’s a good option over usual simple syrups for anyone watching their drink calories or following a low-carb diet.
Our Red Smash Recipe
Our non-alcoholic red smash is big on fizz with notes that might remind you of a Spanish red sangria or your favorite wine spritzer. Most of your prep time is spent stirring and pouring, so you can get to sipping. There’s no need to muddle anything here or bust out the cocktail shaker.
Total Time: 10 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Serving Size: 8 oz
- 4 cans Surely Bubbly Red
- 10 ounces orange sparkling water
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup (to taste)
- 4 ounces non-alcoholic bourbon
- 3 tablespoons granulated monk fruit sweetener
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Orange slices (for garnish)
- Cubed or crushed Ice
- Combine sparkling wine, sparkling water, maple syrup, and non-alcoholic bourbon in a large pitcher. Stir well.
- Mix monk fruit and cinnamon in a small dish.
- Run an orange slice along the edge of each rocks glass or tumbler.
- Dip rims into the sweetener mixture to coat.
- Fill each glass with ice and pour smash blend over the top.
- Garnish each drink with an orange slice.
Nutrition Information (per serving)
- Calories: 94
- Fat: 0 g
- Carbs: 23 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Net Carbs: 23 g
- Protein: 0 g
This mocktail is meant to be sweet. Feel free to lighten up on the maple syrup or monk fruit if that’s your preference. We love the warming vibes on this one that embrace fall, but if you want to hold onto summer, a splash of lime juice could do the trick with a mini boost of vitamin C.
We’d just avoid adding any additional fruit juices like orange juice if you’re keeping the sweeteners as is. This isn’t meant to resemble a wine cooler!
Garnish and Enjoy!
Garnishes on your red smash are a great way to play with flavors and color depending on the reason or the season. We love the orange notes as a bridge between summer and fall, but feel free to have some fun with our recipe. That’s the beauty of a smash.
- Want to keep things classic? Stick with sprigs of mint and lemon slices as your garnish of choice.
- Planning a holiday mocktail menu? Garnish with cranberries and rosemary for a more festive vibe.
- Are the berries looking particularly lovely? Sprinkle in some fresh raspberries or blackberries for a playful touch.
Changing up the basics on this smash could turn your mocktail into something else entirely, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Egg white and lemon juice are the basis for a booze-free New York Sour. Lemonade and summer berries make a fun red wine lemonade.
We’ll be here sipping on that smash, though.
Make it a Happy and Healthy Hour with Surely
Our favorite red wine cocktails are the best way to kick off the start of a cozier season. Make them non-alcoholic with Surely’s canned bubbly reds and you can sip on red smashes all autumn long. If you love canned options, add a 4-pack of our sparkling rosé before you check out. It’s fruity, crisp, with just a single gram of sugar per can.