SWIZZLES part 5 – Full Proof Mai Kai Swizzle

It`s time to add another swizzle to this blog and i just recently stumbled on a post over at the Atomic Grog blog about the Mai Kai Swizzle and it got me thirsty… and since i had never made that swizzle i tried it – and i find it tasty.

Unfortunately i don´t have the same rum as the recipe called for so i might have missed that thing which makes it stand out a bit. That said it doesn´t mean you can`t make it nice with other rums and that´s the beauty of rums – you can create so much variation.

Just one thing…i prefer strong drinks over weak and this one is weak or mild so allow me to pimp it up a little…

The post says it needs that golden rum from Appleton but since i don´t have it i decided to use Appleton Extra – one of my favorite rums…because i have many – and let the drink get a healthy dose of two overproof or strong rums.

I really like overproof rum – when used right it takes a cocktail or tiki drink to the next level, not just in strength but also flavor and we know that stronger proof concentrates flavors better. But one needs to be careful though, it´s so easy to have one drink too much..

I luckily have a few overproof and full proof rums to chose from at various strengths –

Coruba overproof (75%), Lemon Hart 151(75.5 %), Pusser´s overproof (70%), Plantation dark overproof (73%) Smith and Cross ( 57%) Tiki Lover`s Dark (57%) and JWray overproof (63%) and in this drink i used the Plantation dark overproof because it´s flavor profile fitted the other rum best i figured.

What i call “full-proof” are those that are between 50 – 60% ABV. I don´t know if that`s what they are officially called but to me it sounds appropriate…

The swizzling technique is another thing to mention but instead of writing the same things again i point you readers to this excellent post. It´s fun to swizzle and it gets even better if you have one of those original swizzle sticks from the swizzle stick tree – (Quararibea turbinata) which grows in the Caribbean and whose branches grows in a forked star shaped fashion thus producing perfect swizzle sticks! – called bois lele on Martinique.

Bois lele.The thicker one is from Guyana and the other is from Martinique.

You can get the original swizzle sticks here.

So now i got the ingredients, the shaker and glass, the ice and the swizzle stick or bar spoon, let´s get started!


1.5 oz fresh-squeezed orange juice
0.5 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
0.5 oz mango juice
0.5 oz rich sugarcane syrup – (2 parts sugar to 1 part water, heated and cooled)
0.25 oz orgeat (almond) syrup
1/8 oz falernum
1 oz Appleton Extra Jamaican rum
1 oz Smith and Cross jamaican rum
Float 0.5 oz Plantation overproof rum on top of the drink

Swizzle in cocktail shaker with 1 cup crushed ice. Pour into a stemmed cocktail glass and fill up with more crushed ice if needed and garnish with a mango slice – or like i did here with my fruit carving knife – a palm frond out of the mango fruit.

The combination of mango juice, orgeat and falernum is a bit special and very tasty, very tropical. Since i don´t have Appleton Special Gold rum i can`t compare this stronger version with the original, all i can say is that it´s tasty and rummy.

The other swizzles in the swizzle series on this blog are these:

1 – Swizzles part one – Queenspark Swizzle and Creole Swizzle

2 – Chartreuse Swizzle with caramelized demerara sugar

3 – 151 swizzle

4 – Swordfighter swizzle

Keep swizzling!

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

SWIZZLES part 4 – Swordfighter Swizzle

So what do you do on a hot evening when you´re thirsty? well, if you don´t know what to mix you start digging around in either your cocktail books or on the web.

So digging around trying to find something cool to mix up on a hot evening like this i stumbled over the Swordfighter Swizzle, made by Paul Clarke and Jeff  Berry back in 2007. The drink is a wonder of yumminess per excellence and well worth digging up again i think.

This drink evolved from another drink that was created for a spirited dinner at Tales of the Cocktail and was later on when the Tales was finished changed a bit with some expert help from the Bum and renamed by Paul and used for that months Mixology Monday. On the blog you can also read how the drink got its name. The result is mouth watering and here is the recipe:


In a tall, 10-ounce glass, lightly muddle 6-8 fresh mint leaves, swabbing the sides of the glass with the oil.


1 ounce Cruzan Light rum
1 ounce Demerara rum
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1/4 ounce rich demerara syrup (2 parts demerara sugar dissolved in 1 part water)
1/2 ounce Rhum Clement Creole Shrubb
1/4 teaspoon Herbsaint

Fill glass with crushed ice; swizzle with bar spoon until sides of glass are coated in frost. Pack glass with more crushed ice. Then add several dashes of this:

2-3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
1-2 dashes Angostura bitters

Smack a mint sprig to release the fragrance, and put in the glass along with a slice of fresh peach skewered on a cocktail sword. Insert a short straw near the mint.

Well i didn´t have peaches..so i used only mint but i think the dashes of angostura and peychaud´s does very well for both flavor and garnish.

It IS as good as it looks like…believe me. Go try it!

SWIZZLES part 3 – 151 Swizzle

To continue my swizzle series…here`s the 151 Swizzle – and this is one hell of a tasty drink! it`s very simple too – and the combination of ingredients is brilliant. This drink was served by Tony Ramos at Don the Beachcomber`s in Hollywood in the 1960s.

Using 1.5 oz of the heavy Lemon Hart 151 demerara rum this drink is very distinct with a power of its own. Demerara rum is my favorite rum, it has the same pungent flavor as pot still Jamaican but is a bit smoky with a flavor that is unmatched.

The 151 Swizzle is also what is going to be made by 151 bartenders who will perform the very first unique swizzle ritual named 151 SWIZZLE-BE HERE NOW which i wrote about in my first pre-Tales post for TOTC 2011.

That means that all 151 bartenders will swizzle together at the same time in the same place with 151 original swizzle sticks from Guyana making the 151 Swizzle!  and guess who´s gonna imbibe them?

Well, i`ll hopefully be one…together with the rest of the folks attending this seminar lead by Stanislav Vadrna. It`s a veritable 151 Swizzle party! and on top of that held in my favorite place on earth – my beloved New Orleans.

There might still be tickets left..check on the TOTC blog.

Now back to the 151 Swizzle, it`s tasty and it´s strong and has that extra touch of spiciness from freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon stick, depth from the Lemon Hart 151 rum, a touch of anis from Pernod (or Herbsaint) and a balanced sweet-tartness from sugarcane syrup and fresh lime –  it´s handsdown one of the best swizzles out there.

Here´s the recipe (from Remixed) to make it at home:


0.5 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz sugarcane syrup ( I use Petit Canne – because it has a special flavor)

1.5 oz Lemon Hart 151 (or El Dorado)

Dash Angostura bitters

6 drops Pernod ( i used Herbsaint)

8 oz crushed ice

Freshly ground nutmeg

Put everything except nutmeg in blender and blend for 5 sec. Pour unstrained into a tall glass with flaired top if possible to give more room for the freshly grated nutmeg on top. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Of course you can swizzle instead of blending, it´s a swizzle after all.. swizzle or blend and If you blend make sure to not blend for more than 5 sec unless you want it slushy..

And since this one is very strong even though the melting ice dilutes the heavy rum in it i think it´s good with just one unless you pace it, drink some water and let enough time pass in between drinks.

And that is said by one who likes strong rum drinks.

Happy swizzling!

TOTC 2011 – Swizzling Around The World, Here And Now

It`s only about 2 months left until the Tales of the Cocktail 2011 kicks off in New Orleans and it´s time to present some of the sessions for this year. If you`re planning to go it`s high time to book your sessions they´re running out FAST!

Let`s go back in the history of the swizzles..

In this session Stanislav Vadrna takes us through a swizzling journey taking a look at the history and legacy of the swizzles drinks and the swizzling technique(ritual) from all around the world.

This session is for anyone who wants to take part of the unique swizzle ritual and to get to understand the spirit and very nature of this simple but impressive technique and bar tool.

Stan will lead you through the history of this kind of drink, important persons, and places connected with swizzles, and much more.

Beside the impressive effect of ritual preparation of swizzle drink in front of the guest you will understand also the process of perception of swizzle stick and the art of swizzling – with your heart, mind and body concentrated to this unique moment: HERE AND NOW
We will also be shown different types of swizzle sticks and sample recipes from all over the world.

And then…

At the very end of the seminar you will take part on the very first unique swizzle ritual named 151 SWIZZLE-BE HERE NOW.

151 bartenders will be swizlling with ALOHA together at the same time at the same place with 151 original swizzle sticks FROM GUAYANA the 151 SWIZZLE drink based on 151 LEMON HEART DEMERARA rum.

Be a part of this unique experience! Only 150 seats available! Ichigo – Ichie / one chance – one meeting.

Sounds TOO GOOD to be missed!

Time: 3 PM to 4:30 PM
Date: Thursday the 21st of July, 2011
Venue: La Nouvelle Orleans Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone

Moderators: Stanislav Vadrna

This session is sponsored by Rhum JM, more details to be found here.

SWIZZLES part 2 – Chartreuse Swizzle with Caramelized Demerara Sugar

Like i said before – the green Chartreuse is the elixir of pure pleasure! a little of it and its like magic drops transforms an average drink into a potion of dreams..

We keep swizzlin`…and the next swizzle i`m gonna make is my favorite and many other´s favorite too – – the famous Chartreuse Swizzle – i was even asked to include it in my swizzle series by my good blogger pal and friend Craig Hermann over at  Colonel Tiki

I´ve had it on my blog before and it has been on other blogs too but this swizzle is sooo damned good that you can`t make too many. The interplay of flavors and herbal notes is wonderful and i wonder if this one isn´t addictive..

But note one thing – the original recipe doesn`t contain any rum, that`s something that has been added by various people to pimp it up and with good results me thinks..

I´m also gonna try that thing i read about with the lime wedge – you sprinkle sugar over a lime wedge, pour bit of Chartreuse over it, light it and let the sugar caramelize. Cool a bit, then squeeze and drop the lime into the glass – with one half sticking up as garnish a bit above the extra top layer of crushed ice.

This will hopefully add a layer of caramelized dark sugar to the drink..hm not a bad idea, let´s see if it works.

CHARTREUSE SWIZZLE – With Caramelized Demerara Sugar

1 oz Green Chartreuse
1 oz Smith & Cross Jamaican rum
1 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
0.75 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Falernum (i used Trader Tiki`s Dark Falernum)
2 dash Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters ( a few dashes  on top of the ice too)
Caramelized demerara sugar-lime

Start making the caramelized sugared lime first and put aside to cool. See instructions above.

Add ingredients to a large glass full of crushed ice. Swizzle to mix, lavishly garnish with mint, squeeze a bit and drop in the caramelized sugared lime and add straw – in the mint.

Well, first of all – chartreuse doesn`t burn so well so i took just a little bit of Lemon Hart 151, very little since i don´t really wanna burn it, it´s precious. But a half teaspoon is ok, for once – i won´t do this very often. Actually – it´s more of a fun experiment. So one half teaspoon of each is what i used.

After burning the sugar and lime i wasn´t content, i wanted a more burnt flavor and the lime to also look a bit burnt so i decided to grill it.

The end result is a bit of a spicy Chartreuse Swizzle and it´s tasty of course. But if the spiciness comes from the grilled sugared lime or the aromatic bitters i cannot say, it`s probably both.

This is a drink i can drink plenty of and it´s fun to play around with it – it´s that kinda drink.