|The pic captures my mood this season.|
Ambivalent and washed out when it comes to the holidays.
But the Coffey Park Swizzle is a bright spot of warmth and color.
The Dilettante sat down with Death & Co. over morning coffee to cruise the text looking for just the right sipper to suit the mood. (At this point I'm feeling the need to reassure that even though he was looking at a mixology text while enjoying his morning cuppa, the Dilettante does not have a problem. Well, let's qualify that. The Dilettante does not have a problem with booze. Several other categories are up for grabs!) Leafing through the pages I came across a whole section of swizzles. Interesting, but not necessarily what one thinks about as a winter beverage since swizzles are typically served in pilsners filled with crushed ice. Think adult snow cone. That's summer rooftop, right? But then Coffey Park Swizzle caught my eye and the taste buds began to imagine. This could be just the cocktail to jump start my mood for the winter season. But first I needed to do some shopping and then just a bit of advance prep before Happy Hour!
Such an interesting mix of ingredients -- both familiar and new. Even as we were taking our first sip, I really didn't know if this was gonna play out. All the ingredients -- sherry (recalling that classic short story, "The Cask of Amontillado"), French Caribbean rum, lime juice, ginger syrup, the exotic new Falernum, bitters -- each on its own was so good. But mixed incorrectly, this could easily wind up being a tall cold glass of soap.
There is a lot to sort out in that first sip. The words "interesting" and "I don't know" immediately followed it. The Partner and I stood in front of the tree, warily eyeing each other. We couldn't even sit down, locked in place by that first sip, impish smirks on our faces as we processed what our taste buds were telling us. I wanted to like it, so, the next sip. Processing. By the third, we knew we had a winner. Cold, wintery, refreshing and spicy. A little ginger syrup goes a long way. So much so that our lips were still tingling in the cab on the way to dinner after only one round. And one round is really all an imbiber should attempt. A tall, cold aperitif that morphs as the crushed ice melts and nuances the drink's complexity. In fact, the Coffey Park Swizzle put us very much in mind of the Bourbon Squash which has become one of our summer go-tos. So summer swizzle, winter swizzle. Coffey Park could be the featured cocktail on the bar until spring.
Coffey Park Swizzle
1 oz. rhum*
1 oz. sherry
1/4 oz. Falernum
3/4 oz. lime juice
3/4 oz. ginger syrup
3 dashes Angostura bitters
Mix the first 5 ingredients in a shaker with only a few pieces of crushed ice and shake just until cool. Strain into a pilsner filled with crushed ice and swizzle**. Add the bitters and blend it down through the drink, swizzling and stirring to do so. Garnish with mint sprig.
*: Rhum or rhum agricole is the French Antilles version of rum, made from cane sugar as opposed to cane molasses. If you can't find the former, feel confident substituting the latter.
**: The verb swizzle means to stir by spinning a stirring stick between both hands while drawing it up and down in the glass. The noun swizzle or swizzle stick is not what we think of today as a stir stick. It's more like a muddler with a set of short spines coming perpendicularly off the bottom. So when it spins it creates a bit of a vortex to mix. A regular stir stick will not do this effectively. If you can't find a swizzle stick, you can get the job done pretty well with a long bar spoon.