Poitín Basil Smash Recipe

By Timo Torner / Last updated on August 30, 2023

The Poitín Basil Smash is an unusual riff on the Gin Basil Smash with the Irish Moonshine spirit Poitín as a base.
Poitin Basil Smash

At first glance, the Poitín Basil Smash looks super familiar. And yes, reduced to its visuals, it appears almost like a regular Gin Basil Smash. However, tastewise the cocktail is pretty different.

Besides interchanging the Gin base with Poitín, the recipe also calls for a different sweetener. Instead of regular simple syrup, you use delicate honey syrup.

Quick Facts Poitín Basil Smash

  • Method: shaken
  • Flavor profile: herbaceous, well-balanced
  • How to serve it: over ice
  • Best glassware: rocks glass
  • Alcohol content: ~ 17% ABV, 19 grams of alcohol per serving
Poitin Basil Smash cocktail

Poitín Basil Smash Recipe

A riff on the classic Gin Basil Smash based on the Irish spirit Poitín.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: British
Keyword: basil, honey syrup, lemon juice, Poitin
Servings: 1
Calories: 206kcal
Cost: $2.20


  • 1 Jigger
  • 1 Muddler
  • 1 Cocktail Shaker
  • 1 Hawthorne Strainer


  • 2 oz Poitín
  • 0.75 oz Honey syrup
  • 0.75 oz Lemon juice
  • 12 Basil leaves


  • Add basil leaves and lemon juice into your cocktail shaker and start muddling. Muddle the mixture until the liquid turns bright green.
    12 Basil leaves, 0.75 oz Lemon juice
  • Add Poitín and honey syrup together with ice and shake until well-chilled.
    2 oz Poitín, 0.75 oz Honey syrup
  • Double-Strain into an ice-filled chilled rocks glass and garnish with more fresh basil leaves.


Serving: 3.75ozCalories: 206kcalCarbohydrates: 6.12gSodium: 1.84mgPotassium: 139.76mgSugar: 6gVitamin C: 9.36mgCalcium: 18mgIron: 0.82mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Ingredients of a Poitin Basil Smash

You don't need many ingredients for this cocktail, but some quite unusual ones. The components for the Poitín Basil Smash are:

  • Poitín: Poitín, or Poteen, is a relatively new cocktail ingredient. -Which may seem odd considering that the first Poitín was produced as early as the 1600s. On the other hand, it's only logical because Poitín has been banned in Ireland for a long time. Today, there are more and more products entering the market. Choose one from our list of the best Poitíns to try.
  • Fresh lemon juice: use freshly squeezed lemon juice in your drink for the best result.
  • Honey syrup: A mix of equal measures of honey and water that you can easily make at home.
  • Fresh basil leaves: that's where the secret to a great basil smash lies. There are a few things to keep in mind when working with basil in drinks, which we will explain now.

Tips & Tricks for the Poitín Basil Smash

The crucial step for achieving the vibrant green color of this special Smash Drink is muddling the basil leaves. 

For that, you combine the leaves with freshly squeezed lemon juice in your shaker and muddle them until the liquid turns bright green. 

Only once you have a bright green color should you add all the other ingredients and ice and give a good and powerful shake.

To ensure you don't have tiny pieces of crushed basil in your drink, double-strain when pouring. That means you put your Hawthorne Strainer neatly over your shaker as usual, but don't pour directly into the glass but through a fine-mesh sieve.

Basil Smash made with Irish Poitin

More About Poitín

Poitín is a distilled spirit from Ireland, traditionally made from malted grains. It is sometimes also spelled poteen or potcheen. The latter is the closest to the correct pronunciation: puh - cheen.

Today, Poitín is not only made from grains but also from potatoes or cereals. The spirit must contain a minimum of 40% ABV but can contain up to 90% of alcohol.

Poitín is a traditional product that goes back to the early 1600s and is also known as "Irish Moonshine." It has been experiencing a renaissance because it was banned for more than 300 years and is only legally back on the market since 1997.

Related Cocktails

One of the most popular Smash cocktails is the Gin Basil Smash. The now world-famous cocktail was invented in Hamburg, Germany, in Bar Le Lion. More refreshing recipes are:

About Smash Drinks

Smash cocktails are closely related to Mint Juleps. But while, for a Julep, you gently stir in the mint leaves, the Smash recipe follows a more forceful approach.

The Smash Cocktails history goes all the way back to the 1840s. Historian David Wondrich stated that at the peak of popularity, "everyone seemed to spend the warm months of the year with a Smash glued to their hand…".

For a long time, preparation was the main difference from a Julep. However, in modern interpretations, smash drinks are made with citrus, muddling fruit, or other herbs like basil.

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