Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Queen Park Swizzle

I came upon a really lovely recipe for a Queen Park Swizzle this evening. The ingredients included lime and mint—great flavors for a summer’s night. Even more enticing: the blogger said he first tried this drink at Milk and Honey, of NYC and London fame!

So I tried it out. Here’s the recipe, via

- 2oz aged white rum

- 1/2 of a lime

- 1/2oz simple syrup

- 2-3 sprigs of mint
- A few dashes of Angostura bitters

- Club soda

- Plenty of crushed ice

The technique for this cocktail is a little different than anything we’ve used in the past. There’s no shaking involved, so we’re going to build the entire cocktail right in the glass. Start by squeezing half a lime into the glass. (Some people will choose to drop the shell of the lime in once you’ve squeezed it – your choice.)

Next add the simple syrup, and the leaves of 2-3 sprigs of mint. Finally, add the rum, and fill the glass with crushed ice. The use of crushed ice here versus cubes is important – you want the ice to really mix with the ingredients. Once you’ve added the crushed ice, use a swizzle stick to – yes – swizzle the cocktail. That is, use the swizzle stick to agitate the ingredients along with the ice, which will not only help mix everything, but also chill it (you’ll notice a nice frost form on the outside of the glass within 30-60 seconds.)

A few notable substitutions. I didn’t have any aged white rum laying around, so I used the white Bacardi I had instead. I also used some dark demerara sugar, not white sugar, since I thought it might work with the lime and rum.

Overall, the drink came out quite tasty! It’s light, bubbly, and a bit more spicy (due to the angostura) than similar drinks, such as the mojito and caipirinha.

I did have some initial issues with the layering—sipping from the top, I could only taste the soda water and angostura. So I had to give it a mix before everything came together (although this ruined the beautiful angostura float).

Making it again in the future, I’d like to peel back on the amount of lime. A proper highball glass would also capture the layered aesthetic better. But overall, yummy.

Before closing this entry, I’d like to speak to one aspect of my cocktail tonight. What, Bacardi white rum? Blasphemy, Noelle! Blasphemy! And to you, I say, I am unashamed of using such a common spirit. I don’t think we’ve ever addressed this explicitly in our blog, but Josh and I like to think of our cocktails as the drink for the common man or woman. Our goal is to make well-balanced cocktails that don’t need hoity-toity spirits you’ll have to smuggle in from the Netherlands. We love the craft and the taste and damn right we’ll be tasting the more exotic spirits at the bar—we raise our glasses to you, fancy ingredients and ingenious bartenders! But you won’t find that stuff in our kitchen. Our mission is to make classic cocktails affordably.

By the way, Spirited Cocktails is a delightful blog that seems to focus on serious, classic cocktails. The author, Joshua Hoffman, writes out of New York, which seems to give him some extra cred. ;-) I took the extra step and added the blog to, so you can also look for it there. I look forward to trying out many more drinks from this blog.


sf_cocktailian said...

Looks good, Noelle, and great pics. Although the angostura bitters changes the character completely, it looks like a mojito with the bitters added, which is how you might have to explain to ignorant bartender. Thanks for the comment about substitution of more common less expensive ingredients, e.g. Bacardi white rum, for more esoteric ones. Although the cocktail snobs will disagree, one of the biggest challenges for aspiring non-millionaire mixologists with limited living space is keeping within a budget and not filling up kitchen/bar with exotic ingredients that may only be used once.

Cocktails at 80 said...

May I suggest then when you are ready to buy your next bottle of rum, that you check out some other types? We used Bacardi happily for years until we did some comparisons, now we use myers platinum as our basic white rum after we found that both we and our guests could tell the difference.

Noelle said...

sf_cocktailian - Thanks for the kind words! Yes, I totally agree about the challenges of having limited space and money. Delighted to see that there are other cocktail enthusiasts in the same boat!

Cocktails at 80 - Yes, I'd love to branch out!! I think we actually picked the Bacardi up during an evening run to safeway to satisfy a hankering for a mojito on a hot day. Thank you for recommending the myers platinum--recommendations are gold. We will definitely check that out the next time we buy white rum. :-)