Grilled Lemon Bourbon Smash

A grilled lemon bourbon smash on a summer evening

Summer time equals grills and pools and cold cocktails. And this grilled lemon bourbon smash hits all those marks. It’s the perfect summertime drink as its light and refreshing for cooling you off sitting around the pool. And even better yet, it only takes a couple of common ingredients and a few minutes to get it all together.

But like I’ve said many times before, when a recipe calls for only a handful of ingredients, all those ingredients matter a whole lot more. So if you use subpar bourbon and lemons and you don’t like that drink, that really isn’t my fault.

Lemon wheels and wedges on a grill

So why grill the lemons?

We are grilling the lemons for two reason.

  • Grilled lemons are much easier to muddle.
  • The caramelization from the grill is basically free flavor. It gives the drink another depth of flavor.

What bourbon should I use?

Here are some of my favorite bourbons that won’t break the bank. This will make or break your grilled lemon bourbon smash.

Under $30 (usually)

  • Buffalo Trace
  • Wild Turkey 101
  • Blue Note Juke Joint

Under $45 (usually)

  • Blue Note Crossroads
  • Basil Hayden
  • Penelope Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Grilled Lemon Bourbon Smash by pool

Tips for making the best Grilled Lemon Bourbon Smash

First, do you have all the basic bar equipment. For this recipe you will need some strainers, a muddler & jigger and a shaker. I personally own all of this stuff so I know it works.

Second, the grill needs to be at high heat. Anything less and you won’t get those highly desired grill marks. Just be careful to not burn the lemons. Burnt and caramelization are not the same thing!

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A grilled lemon bourbon smash on a summer evening
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Grilled Lemon Bourbon Smash

Quite possible the perfect summer bourbon drink. If I do say so myself.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time2 minutes
Total Time7 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bourbon, bourbon smash, grilled lemon bourbon smash
Servings: 1
Cost: $5


  • 2 wedges lemon wedges grilled
  • 4 mint leaves
  • 3/4 ounce simple syrup see note below
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • ice


  • Combine the grilled lemons, mint leaves and simple syrup in the bottom of a shaker cup. Muddle the ingredients for 10 – 20 seconds.
  • Add the bourbon and some ice. Seal your shaker and shake for 10 to 20 seconds.
  • Double stain into a glass with fresh ice. Garnish with a grilled lemon wheel and enjoy!


Simple syrup can be bought at the store if you feel like wasting money.  All you need to do bring equal parts sugar and water (eq: 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water) to a boil (without mixing) and cool.