In case you’re wondering, the answer is yes: A swizzle is as much fun to drink as it is to say. That’s partly because it’s also enjoyable to watch a bartender make it. This should all come as no surprise when you consider that the swizzle, which predates the first appearance of the word “cocktail” in print, in 1806, can be traced back to the Caribbean. And little that comes from the islands lacks fun. “Swizzle,” does double duty as a noun and a verb here. It’s the distinctive motion of mixing spirits and crushed ice in a glass by twirling a swizzle stick between one’s palms. The implement, a reedy branch with splayed horizontal prongs on one end, is sourced from a particular tropical tree. (You can buy them from companies like Cocktail Kingdom www.cocktailkingdom.com/all-barware/accessories-and-other-tools/swizzle-stick.) Its use makes for a spectacle, to be sure. At The Hourly Oyster House in Harvard Square, the Swizzle Me Timbers, a version created by bar manager Beth Hoselton, combines rhum Agricole, a style of rum made from fresh-pressed sugar cane juice, cream sherry, velvet falernum, lime juice, and a rich amaro. The grassy Agricole is brightened by the almond- and clove-spiced falernum and tangy lime, delivering a flavor that’s as engaging as the visual spectacle.
SWIZZLE ME TIMBERS
Makes 1 drink
1 ounce Rhum Clement Select Barrel (or another aged rhum Agricole)
¾ ounce Velvet Falernum
¾ ounce Bodegas Dios Bacos Cream Sherry (or other cream sherry)
¾ ounce fresh lime juice
½ ounce St. George Bruto Americano
3 dashes of Angostura bitters and 1 lime wheel, to garnish.
1. Fill a Collins glass halfway with crushed ice. Add all ingredients.
2. Swizzle until a frost forms on the outside of the glass, then fill the rest of the way with crushed ice. A barspoon will work in a pinch.
3. Top with 3 dashes Angostura bitters and garnish with a lime wheel.
The Hourly Oyster House
Liza Weisstuch can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @livingtheproof.