SWIZZLES! part one

Swizzles and rum belongs together and since this blog is largely about rum and rum based drinks and tiki drinks i think it`s time to make a little series on swizzles, making a few of the good swizzles out there along with a few twists.

Its something very satisfying with the sound of the swizzling of crushed ice and good booze, it makes you thirsty…and since you know you soon gonna imbibe a very cold tasty drink its like awaiting a reward when you hear that sound. Its a similar thing with the sound of shaking but but this sounds more – cold and refreshing.

And then the swizzling – it´s also a show to watch, a fun show, a show that whets your appetite and thirsty taste buds when you hear that sound and see how the glass gets frosted..I`m getting thirsty by just writing this and cannot wait to get that swizzle done..

The swizzling technique was probably invented in the Caribbean and a wooden stick called bois lèlè made from the swizzle stick tree (Quararibea turbinata) was/is used.

These trees grows in such a way that you can cut natural swizzle sticks from them and cut to create a long handle. The end of the stick has tiny “branches” or prongs that goes out in a star shaped direction. That`s why this tree is called the swizzle stick tree.


El Dorado swizzle stick and Bois Lélé from Martinique.I`m showing these just as an example to show that the real swizzle sticks are far away from those little  plastic swizzle sticks you get when ordering drinks, those are more like “garnish”. The best sub is a  bar spoon which works just fine!

Pour the ingredients in a glass with shaved or very finely cracked ice and swizzle — you rapidly twirl the stick between your palms moving it up and down in the glass until the glass frosts.

Now the Martinique wooden swizzle stick is not readily available though, but Cocktail Kingdom carries them online. Also you can use other swizzle sticks or a barspoon.

The swizzle isn´t as much a recipe, it´s rather a technique but traditionally it´s a mix of rum, falernum, lime, and sugar or simple syrup. But there`s more things that can go in a swizzle like other spirits, liqueurs, mint or other herbs and liqueurs.

The swizzlee is very much like a rum punch – but the difference is that it`s swizzled instead of shaken and gets that frost on the glass as a result and that`s what defines a swizzle.

To make a good swizzle you need to start with large cold ice chunks and crush them, don`t use any soft fast melting ice here. Then you need fresh ingredients and quality spirits and liqueurs. The rule is the same as always – fresh ingredients.

Then you need to practice the swizzling technique because it takes a little training to get the swizzles perfected. But don`t worry, it`s not difficult and if you need to practice a bit – you get more excuses for imbibing swizzles right?

Swizzling is fun! and imbibing swizzles is more fun!

So let`s begin the swizzling with the famous Queens Park Swizzle which was created in Trinidad and which contains my favorite rum from Guyana – demerara.



3 oz demerara rum
0.75 oz lime juice
0.5 oz simple syrup
3 heavy dashes angostura bitters
fresh mint

Add all ingredients into a tall glass. Also add the spent lime shell – like you do when you shake up a Mai Tai – then you get the oils from the peel into the drink which makes it more aromatic.

Then fill up with crushed ice and and start swizzle until the glass frosts over. Add a sprig of fresh mint for garnish and place it on top of the drink like a queens crown and add a straw.

Now – fill up with some more crushed ice. And finally – add a few extra dashes of the Angostura bitters on top of the drink, this also adds some extra red color  Now it looks real tasty – enjoy!

Nobody can say this drink tastes bad…its an excellent drink and so refreshing. But if you know me you´ll also know that i like to play around with ingredients and flavors and make twists of drinks and so i tried a variation and used creole bitters instead of angostura and it gave the drink a different aromatic twist

I also reformulated the rum ratio to 2 oz and added 1 oz of aged cachaca.



2 oz demerara rum
1 oz aged cachaca (i used Abelha Gold)
0.75 oz lime juice
0.5 oz simple syrup
2 dashes creole bitters
fresh mint – or even better – chocolate mint

Makes for an ok swizzle i think but i do prefer the aromatics from the Queen´s Park better, and i like to add lots of angostura bitters in it.

Shall we swizzle some more or is this enough? some say two at the most..and as i`m doing a series on swizzles i think i need to have a few swizzles left for the next couple posts..

But go ahead and swizzle up another Creole swizzle or Queens Park!

7 Replies to “SWIZZLES! part one”

  1. Hello. It’s nice to meet you.
    I’m looking for swizzle stick in japan.
    However, I could not find out it in japan.
    When I google in English, I reach your this page.
    Could you do me a favor, please advise me how can I get or find it.

    Excuse me for my poor english.
    Thank you
    Best regards

  2. Hi Tiare,

    Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll have to try Appleton Extra and demerara syrup. Yes, I can mail order it as well. I’ve been meaning to take the two hour drive down to Chicago and pick some up. It would be a fun trip. The weekend have just been getting away from me lately.

  3. Damon, i feel you…but if it´s hard to get demerara where you live maybe you can find Smith & Cross or Appleton Extra and spice it up with a demerara syrup and a dash of oimento dram? will not make the rum start tasting like demerara but it would certainly fit in the flavor profile of many swizzles.

    Or can´t you mail-order demerara rum?

  4. Oh don´t worry..the Chartreuse Swizzle is my fav swizzle, it has already been on my site since we bathed in them last summer in the mixohaus, but of course it has to be a part of my swizzles series, i`m planning to post every interesting swizzle i can find, so if you have any suggestions it´s welcome!

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