Greetings drunkards and drunkards in training. As you know, June 21 is the summer solstice. Here at The Drunkard’s Almanac it means that looking toward summer our minds turn to such things as the tiki dimension. In anticipation of this The Drunkards Almanac introduces Aaron Carr as Field Correspondent, Tiki Bureau. Today’s column comes to you direct from the Magpie Lounge, where the Heckle and Jeckle swizzle was developed.
Entering the tiki dimension means reaching for the rum. Sugar cane-based spirits have a long and complicated past, at times the height of fashion and at times – devil rum – the epitome of society’s ills . Luckily we have entered a more enlightened age, somewhat a new renaissance of rum in the last couple of decades. The bottles you may find on liquor store shelves can make one woozy with opportunity and empty the wallet in the process. Its diversity of styles and versatility as a spirit lead to limitless possibilities. From fabulous white rums that are both refreshing and don’t disappear when you mix them in a simple cocktail to funky Jamaican rums that smack you in the mouth before every sip, you can’t stop from going back for more. After all, we’re drunkards or aspiring to be.
Though our discerning readers would not be wrong to just pour some Hampden’s Estate Jamaican rum into a glass and call it done, our Editorial Board believes the brilliance of the summer solstice deserves a festive cocktail. To that end we turn to a swizzle, a class of cocktails we haven’t yet talked about and which gets its name not from what’s in it but rather what you do to make it. The swizzle stick – a the broken-off branch of quararibea turbinata, or swizzlestick tree, is long with several small branches jutting out at one end. The swizzle stick is inserted into the drink and spun using the palms of your hands moving back and forth, much like the Aero Props readers of a certain age may remember from their youth. The plant is native to several Caribbean islands and its roots (ahem, history), date back hundreds of years. Using a swizzle stick or its progenitor was most likely first done by African slaves to mix concoctions of sugar and water. A swizzle drink can take many forms, from elaborate modern classics such as the Chartreuse Swizzle, to the simple Ti’ Punch, the national drink of Martinique (but that is a subject for another column). We don’t know which ingenious pioneer first went beyond mixing sugar and water and first applied this technique to booze, but we salute them.
The Drink of the Day to usher in the tiki season is a product of the Magpie Lounge, a hidden development lab Mr. Carr keeps at an undisclosed location. Today’s drink, the Heckle and Jeckle Swizzle is a nod to the mischievous post-war cartoon magpie twins going by those names. We’re not sure they drank but given their antics it seems highly probable.
Heckle and Jeckle Swizzle
- Double Old Fashioned glass
- 1 oz Demerara rum
- 0.5 oz Haitian rum
- 0.5 oz Jamaican rum Use an overproof rum if you've got it.
- 0.75 oz Fresh lemon juice
- 0.5 oz Cinnamon syrup
- 0.5 oz Falernum
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- Pinch of salt
- Garnish: mint sprig
- Add all ingredients to glass.
- Add 10-12 oz crushed ice. Insert swizzle stick into the glass and with it between both palms of your hands, spin it back and forth, also moving the stick up and down. If you don’t have a swizzle, stir with a tall spoon until the glass is frosty.
- Add more crushed ice to top off.
- Slap the mint to express the oils and garnish.
- Rinse and repeat.