Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Convoluted Narrative; With Swizzles!

As the summer season hits a stride, it occurs to me that we haven’t revisited one of my favorite types of hot weather libations in quite a while: Swizzles.

Well, quite frankly, we haven't revisited anything for altogether too-long, but that's neither here nor there. So while there are no shortage of formulas that might benefit from such a treatment, a truly brilliant one springs to mind (pretty easily considering I just enjoyed two of them in a row) and I thought I might jump back in to share it with you, good reader.

I was introduced to this delightful draught sometime last year at a Thursday Drink Night event: the Chartreuse Swizzle. As might be expected when discussing something which arose from the weekly cocktail symposia held there, from there on the tale grows even more sordid and convoluted…

Originated by Marco Dionysos, at last glance the head bartender at San Francisco’s Clock Bar, this outstanding beverage in its base form was originally introduced to the Mixoloseum crew through an article by Marleigh over at SLOSHED! It truly is a wonderful Swizzle (and appears in a fair number of places on the interweb already), with an intriguing blend of complex flavors. Much of this stems from the interplay of the Chartreuse (my love of which is well-documented), Pineapple (which absolutely must be fresh by-the-by) and spicy Falernum syrup (homemade of course). When the recipe came to light, following a bit of devious consideration Rick of KaiserPenguin suggested the addition of one-quarter ounce of J. Wray & Nephew's overproof Rum to the recipe; and from there it was all downhill.

Upon sampling this wonderful alteration, I was intrigued by the even-more fascinating interplay of flavors inside my well-frosted glass. The Vanilla notes present in the rum played off of the Falernum’s spices especially nicely and the additional alcohol – smoothly integrated by the dilution that a proper swizzling imparts – only served to magnify the remaining flavors.

As so often happens when I get thusly captivated, I began messing with the recipe. The results of my manipulations run in a slightly different direction from the original, yet remain equally delicious. Last year at 'Tales the collective palettes of the Mixoloseum House drank more than a few of these (and its progenitor, the original Green Chartreuse Swizzle) to beat the sweltering New Orleans heat back. And so, short and sweet, I give you the following summertime libation (©):

Golden Sands Swizzle
1 oz. Yellow Chartreuse
½ oz. Lemon Hart 151° Demerara Rum
1 oz. fresh Pineapple juice
¾ oz. fresh Lemon juice
½ oz. Falernum syrup
Combine ingredients in a tall Collins glass and fill ¾ with crushed ice; swizzle until the glass is frosted. Top with additional crushed ice; garnish with a sprig of Spearmint and a grate of fresh Nutmeg.

So on your next sweltering day, when the heat really has you down, ransack your liquor cabinet. Try the original, then another with a touch of J. Wray; then move along to mine. I promise you won’t be disappointed by any of the results. But after three Swizzles (working on my third right now), really, how could you be disappointed by anything..?

Cheers & Enjoy!