Came across this over the weekend and thought it sounded pretty good. This drink is basically a Mojito made with dark rum in place of silver. But what really makes it cool is the whole thing about the “swizzle”.
Queen’s Park Swizzle
That strange-looking stick with the star pattern end sitting next to the cocktail…that’s what makes this cocktail so much fun. It is, in fact, a Swizzle Stick. Not the plastic goodies we’re used with Tiki heads and the name of the bar imprinted along the side, but an actual branch of a (get this) Swizzlestick Tree (Quararibea turbinata) which grows on islands in the Caribbean. I kid you not. The branches branch out in a sort of star pattern, and the pirates and islanders found it a great tool for stirring up rum and mixers in a whole new way. You basically add the ingredients into the glass, then “swizzle” them by placing the swizzle stick into the glass and spinning it left to right as fast as possible, kind of the same way boy scouts use a stick to start a fire. Pretty neat. Here’s the recipe…
3 oz. 80-proof Demerara rum
1/2 oz. simple syrup
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
2 dashes Angostura bitters
8 to 10 mint leaves
Garnish: mint sprig, squeezed-out lime shell
Ok, now start out by putting the mint leaves in a highball glass, and use a muddler or spoon crush slightly, then o guide mint leaves up the sides of the glass. The idea is to coat the sides of the glass with the mint oil. Add remaining ingredients and fill with crushed ice. If you don’t have a real swizzlestick branch, use barspoon to swizzle—gently twirl the spoon between the palms of your hands, moving up and down the glass—until frost forms on the outside of the glass. Top off with ice, and if you want the pretty color float a tiny amount of grenadine off the back of a spoon. Garnish with the mint spring and enjoy life.
I’m sure you carvers and engineering types out there could easily make your own swizzlestick. I’ve heard it’s damned near impossible to find them outside of the Caribbean, so maybe this could be a biz op for you. Maybe carve them out of Monkey Pod.
Cheers, kids! Catch you on the flipside!
-Tiki Chris reporting from Pirate’s Cove Tiki Bar, just off the Caribbean Sea in sunny Fort Lauderdale, Florida
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