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TALES OF THE COCKTAIL 2011 – part 2 – Swizzling Around the World

Mahalo Nui Loa Cocktail

It`s inevitable to miss a whole bunch of both seminars and other events during Tales since there´s so much going on at the same time but the good thing is that there´s more than enough for everyone.

My next seminar after the Six Rums and the iconic Negroni was Stanislav Vadrnas Swizzling Around the World here and Now seminar.

Bois lele swizzle stick from Martinique

Wooden swizzle sticks from Guyana and 5070 Swizzle

Starting with a bit of an odd;-.) discussion to explain the meaning of the italian term Sprezzatura which the way i understand it is about doing things naturally and with grace in such a way that it`s done with a certain nonchalance. (With a lot of training behind of course)

Then the audience had to stand up. Be prepared for a certain element of surprise when you attend seminars by Stan  Now some of us had to switch seats with others on the other side of the room And then when you think that this was done, we had to stand up again and now switch seat to sit beside our closest neighbour who we didn´t already know.

So we were getting to know each other better! and come closer so we could later on perform the swizzling of the 151 swizzle all at the same time with aloha – you can´t get aloha unless there´s some unity….

The meaning of the word aloha, or Alo-HA means breath of life, unconditional love, outpouring and receiving of spirits,  kindness, hospitality and spirituality.

And exchange breath of life we also did…we turned to our closest unknown neighbour, put our hands on each others shoulders , forehead to forehead and look into the eyes and say “Aloha” and exchange breath..

And then the swizzle seminar begun…

With the history of the swizzle and the swizzle sticks used – for example the wooden stick from Martinique – bois lele. We also got a wooden swizzle stick, very similar to the bois lele but from Guyana – what a nice treasure!

To my great surprise i learnt that the Slovakians made a swizzle stick called Habarka which was made of the Christmas tree! it looked like a thicker and more clumsy version of the bois lele. These swizzle sticks has been used all over the world in various fashions to swizzle up soups and etc in cooking.

It was in the Caribbean that the way of making mixed alcoholic drinks with a swizzle stick was invented.

We also learnt that the mythical Trinidad green swizzle from cirka 1925 most likely was made of something called carypton which is said to have given the drink it´s green color and then rum, lime and sugar. Carypton was a product made by Angostura before Prohibition and seems to be a very high alcoholic falernum type of thing.

The first of the drinks we were served was Martin Cate´s 2070 swizzle which is one of those drinks typically Martin to come up with…he is a drink genius.

Then followed a drink called Ushua ia – 15ml citrus 81:1 lemon/lime) 15 ml ginger liqueur, 1o ml vanuilla syrup, 5 ml simple syrup, 2 dash chocolate bitters and 45 ml genever gin – this is what my hard to read notes says.

Third drink – Mahalo Nui Loa – 15 ml lime, 2 dash chocolate bitters, 30 ml pineapple juice, 30 ml Rhum JM. (Which JM my notes doesn´t say…)

151 people swizzling the 151 swizzle…buzzz…

My 151 swizzle!

And then the finale – as it was written – 151 bartenders to swizzle the 151 swizzle with Lemon Hart 151 with Aloha Here and Now” – and so we got to work, that`s why we got those cool wooden swizzle sticks from Guyana.

The room swizzled and then we imbibed…a little bit more enlightened than before about the history of the swizzles, the sticks, the technique, the drinks, the aloha, sprezzatura and the here and now.

And who wouldn´t enjoy a 151 swizzle with Lemon Hart 151 on a thursday afternoon?

This was part two from the Tales of the Cocktail 2011, part three soon to come.

Stanislav Vadrna

6 comments to TALES OF THE COCKTAIL 2011 – part 2 – Swizzling Around the World

  • Sunny&Rummy

    Too Cool!

  • If you want a super high-strength falernum, you could always make something like Blair’s Dark Falernum and not dilute it too much. 130-odd proof should be plenty.

  • How many of the Christmas tree ones did he have or give out? I ended up finding one on Royal Street on Sunday walking back to my hotel (closer to Canal Street)?

  • Sounds awesome! How was the drink, though? I have never had one, but I like the idea of Pernod and nutmeg together. Man, I wish I could have been at TOTC. Looking forward to part III.

  • S&R – I hope you will make it down to Tales next year!

    Jordan – I`ve been thinking of making Blair’s Dark Falernum for a while, just haven`t gotten it done yet..

    Frederic – The christmas tree ones are those they make in Slovakia called Habarka, we didn`t get those. The ones we got were from Guyana. You found a wooden swizzle stick on Royal st?? someone must have lost it without knowing..

    Chad – The drink was good! hope you can come to Tales next year, it`s going to be the 10th anniversary.

  • [...] of the best moments of Tales including everything from 6 rums you’ll never taste again to the art of swizzling. • Speaking of Tales summaries, SeanMike of Scofflaw’s Den recapped his eating and drinking [...]

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