Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Rum Cocktails

Ginger Smash

Ginger Smash cocktail with pineapple leaf, served on round, woven coaster / Tim Nusog

Ginger is a versatile ingredient that is employed in a variety of cocktails, from the classic Moscow Mule and Dark ’n Stormy to health tonics like the Switchel. The punchy rhizome gives drinks a fresh, spicy bite, and it pairs with everything from vodka and rum to smoky scotch.

The Ginger Smash epitomizes the ingredient’s friendly nature. The cocktail features a delicious mix of rum, two liqueurs, fresh pineapple, lime juice and, of course, ginger. The recipe was created by Jason Kosmas and Dushan Zaric of Employees Only, the famous New York cocktail bar that has since expanded to Los Angeles, Miami and Singapore.

They start the drink with light rum, adding Luxardo maraschino liqueur for its bittersweet cherry notes and Berentzen apple liqueur for its juicy fruit flavor. The pineapple and ginger are crushed with a muddler to extract their juices and oils, and fresh lime juice and sugar provide balance to the diverse medley of flavors.

Muddling the pineapple and ginger is what makes this Ginger Smash a smash. This loose category of cocktails involves fruit, spirit and ice, but from there the details are open for interpretation. Try making this at home, then enlist the leftover ingredients for any number of other smashes. You will be refreshed and your forearms will receive a modest workout.


  • 2 chunks fresh pineapple

  • 2 slices fresh ginger

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 1/2 ounces light rum

  • 3/4 ounce Luxardo maraschino liqueur

  • 3/4 ounce Berentzen apple liqueur

  • 1/2 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed

  • Garnish: pineapple leaf


  1. Muddle the pineapple, ginger and sugar in a shaker until they form a paste.

  2. Add the rum, maraschino liqueur, apple liqueur and lime juice, then fill the shaker halfway with ice.

  3. Shake briefly and pour unstrained into a rocks glass.

  4. Garnish with a pineapple leaf.