It’s a great excuse to try out new recipes, mix drinks on a day you’d normally not drink on or, in the case of Australian’s, drink before 11 a.m. on a Tuesday… To buck that trend I instead pushed myself further and decided to drink before 11 a.m. on a Monday! #makingmymotherproud #bloggingisarealjob
But this month I hit a stumbling block right away with the theme: “Swizzles!” It’s not that I don’t know what a Swizzle is (crushed ice in a glass topped with alcohol and swizzled with a stick) just that I’ve never actually enjoyed a swizzle (sorry Cocktail Virgin). What looks to be really enticing and refreshing usually turns into a watery mess that needs constant agitation to get any flavour and by the time you’re halfway through it’s just too diluted.
Sure there’s fun in the swizzle motion for the bartender:
Rubbing your hands back and forth like you’re plotting something evil feels great, even when your evil level is maxed out at “drinking in the morning”. The problem is once you’ve garnished it the customer has to drink it within 2 minutes or their morning booze may as well be an orange mocha frappuccino.
Nobody needs to start their week with a freak gasoline fight accident.
So the challenge this month was to make a swizzle I’d be proud to serve, happy to drink and stands up to the thermodynamic clusterfuck that is crushed ice, alcohol and citrus juice. Clusterfuck is probably too-harsh, this all goes back to the point I make in my book about ice being an ingredient that’s just as important as any spirit or bitters so it’s time to drink my own medicine.
I’m sorry swizzles. You’re not so bad. In fact you’re probably one of the better drinks out there if only because you’re basically how Tiki came to be. I’m just grumpy because none of the native trees or bushes in Australia make good swizzle sticks.
Step 1: Make a Swizzle Stick – I won’t even bother covering this, I failed so hard at trying to make my own swizzle stick that the random twig in the picture at the top was literally something I picked up in the garden and washed before trying it out.
Step 2: Crush Ice – this is definitely the second last step, don’t do it here, I totally got way too excited about bashing ice cubes in a tea towel.
Step 3: The Drink – This is a bit more interesting. I tried to tackle the challenge of dilution head on by increasing the volume of spirits that deal well with being diluted. My love of all things herbal pretty much meant this was always going to be Chartreuse or absinthe. But which should I go with?
We all know there’s two types of people in this world; those that love liquorice and aniseed flavours and those who are wrong and somehow defective. Absinthe is always the answer. Keep in mind my recipes are usually on the less-sweet side so definitely add 15ml of sugar if you prefer a more traditional flavour.
For your drinking pleasure I present this month’s recipe:
The Liquorice Swizzler
- 45ml Angostura 1919 Rum
- 45ml Brinley Gold Shipwreck Spiced Rum (The Best Spiced Rum Ever)
- 30ml Lime Juice
- 25ml Absinthe
- 15ml Grand Marnier
- 15ml Angostura Bitters
- 15ml Home Made Grenadine
- 5 drops Orange Blossom Water
- 2 drops Saline (20g salt to 80g water ratio)
Step 4: Swizzle! – This is how simple it is; add everything to a tall glass, fill with crushed ice, insert swizzle stick and get swizzling!
Step 5: Top with more crushed ice until it looks like a snow-cone and garnish if you have some pretty herbs, spices or flowers. I’d recommend cinnamon quills and violets.
What I used for this Swizzle:
This premium rum from Trinidad is full of light spicy notes that lend extremely well to mixing in cocktails.
Brinley Gold Shipwreck Spiced Rum is genuinely the best spiced rum I have ever tasted.
This native Australian absinthe is one of the finest examples of complex herbaciousness. Truly astounding.
This triple sec orange liqueur is made with the finest cognac base giving it a delightful, rich complexity.
How did you go with this month’s MxMo challenge? Am I too harsh on the Swizzle? Are you part of the defective bit of society that hates liquorice and needs to rant at me? Share away and hit me up in the comments!!