Monday, July 5, 2010

A Refreshing Summer Swizzle

Sometimes in the world of drink mixing, it's important to be bold enough to improvise. The New York Times dining section from June 24th of last year had a great series of articles and recipes on summer drinks which I filed away for later. When we started to get bored with our old standby drinks this summer, I dusted it off and hunted around for inspiration. Many of the drinks--with the exception of the gin based ones--were ones that I've made before, but a few of them have yet to be tackled.

The one that caught my eye was a drink that was mentioned in an article about swizzling. It's called a Campbell Swizzle. It starts out simply enough: rum, lime, simple syrup, bitters. But the thing that provided a bit of a hangup was a liqueur called Velvet Falernum. Upon doing a little research on Wikipedia, I discovered that it embodies flavors of almond, ginger, lime, and vanilla. I replaced the Velvet Falernum with a little Frangelico to capture the essence of almond, a little Grand Marnier to complement the orange bitters and lime, and a dash of vanilla extract.

Campbell Swizzle
Adapted from the NY Times dining section
-1 oz. white rum
-3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
-1/4 oz. simple syrup
-3/8 oz. Frangelico
-3/8 oz. Grand Marnier
-4 dashes orange bitters
-dash Angostura bitters
-dash vanilla extract
-mint sprig for garnish

Pour all ingredients except for mint into a tall glass. Fill glass with crushed ice. Blend ingredients with a genuine swizzle stick or a bar spoon for about 20 seconds. Add more crushed ice to form a mound on top, and top with mint.

What resulted was a complex, sweet, citrusy blend of flavors. Heather commented that she could see this drink being featured at a swanky bar like Dutch Kills. Well used bitters has that effect on a drink. As far as the vanilla extract, a little goes a long way. Too much will overpower your drink and obscure the other flavors and aromas. Just a drop will do. On a humid day, the crushed ice will create a rewarding layer of frost on the glass.

When a drink recipe needs to be altered because of a missing ingredient, it's fun to brainstorm about the different solutions and combinations of ingredients that could also work. Not only is it a fun process, but it allows you to take ownership of the drink--to put your signature on it and tailor it to your tastes. It's one of the things that keeps mixing interesting.

1 comment:

Seneca said...

Can't wait to try this! Looks and sounds delicious :)

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