Thursday, May 17, 2012

Queens Park Swizzle

"April showers, bring May flowers."

Well, it hardly rained last month and instead of flowers blossoming, the lawn is turning from green to yellow with this damn heat!  With temperatures rising and with the change in season (or skipping of the season), I'm starting to veer a bit from the boozier aromatic cocktails and gravitating more towards refreshing drinks.

One of the first cocktails I ever made was a Mojito.  I remember reading about it in the newspaper many years ago.  It sounded very quenching and the fact that I had all of the ingredients on hand, made it that much easier for me to attempt making the Cuban cocktail.  It was love at first sip.  For the first time, I had tasted a drink that was made with real fruit juice and not an artificial sour mix.  How on earth I ever liked those sort of drinks is beyond me.  I guess when that is all you know and you aren't exposed to the real deal, you just cannot comprehend what you are missing out on.  The difference is night and day and since that day, I have not looked back. 

Well, fast-forward a handful of years later and I'm pretty sure it was the first time I stepped foot inside of the Varnish that I saw this drink being made.  I was in awe of the drink - it looked so pretty.  What grabbed me though, was how it was being prepared.  It wasn't shaken or stirred, but swizzled.  Ya, swizzled.  Basically, the ingredients are muddled in a cocktail shaker.  But then, rather than being shaken, they are immediately dumped into a glass, topped with shaved ice, bitters over the top and swizzled so that the drink is made cold inside of the serving glass.  It not only chills the drink but it also frosts the glass.  The cool thing is, the swizzling does all of this without having the colors bleed into one another.  It allows the drink to keep a layered effect with the green on the bottom, beige in the middle and red on top.  This, my friends, is a souped-up Mojito called the Queens Park Swizzle.               

Queen's Park Swizzle - the glass should be frostier and it should also be filled to the brim and beyond - with a heaping mound atop the glass.  My swizzling made things a bit messy and I ran out of shaved ice (I didn't feel like shaving more).  Either way, its a visually-appealing drink to make and a fun way to serve [what would otherwise be] a Mojito.  The perfect summertime drink, in my opinion.

I don't have a swizzle stick but I find that this long stainless steel straw, that I purchased at the varnish, does the trick just fine.

To read more about the drink and the history of the swizzle stick, click here.

And for the recipe of the Queens Park Swizzle, click here.  Cheers!

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