Monday, March 9, 2009
MxMo : The First Time - The Green Swizzle
This months MxMo is being held at The Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails and the topic is thus:
What drink do you suggest for the delicate palate of the cocktail neophyte? Something boozy and balanced, sure - but one wrong suggestion could relegate the newbie to a beer-drinker’s life. To which go-to cocktails do you turn to when faced with the challenge?
As a working bartender I face this often on a nightly basis. I believe 90% of people who get vodka sodas are doing it cause they don't know any better. There is nothing better than that first time you get someone to try gin, whisk(e)y or rum for the first time, and they cannot believe their previously held notion any longer. There are a ton of ways to lead people further in their path to cocktail glory, these are just some that I like. Its about finding the Menu of the Heart.
"I only like vodka."
These are usually less fun and more of a challenge, but a moscow mule or fresh squeezed greyhound or screwdriver will get you some more leeway.
"Can I get a Jack and Coke"
Yes ya can, but might you want to try a whiskey sour, old fashioned, or a sazerac for the daring individual.
"Gin and Tonic"
I'm glad gin has been increasing in popularity. A corpse reviver #2 or Last word usually does the trick. I am a personal fan of gimlets with a bit of muddled cucumber.
Oh hell yes you can. If you haven't had an El Diablo that might be good next.
"Can you make a Malibu and pineapple?"
Don't laugh... I've been asked that. I'll also ask if they want a cherry. Other rum favorites are Mai Tai's, Pina Coladas or dare I offer a Mojito. But there was a rum drink that opened my eyes to the fact that a well made drink was a thing of beauty.
The Green Swizzle.
This was the first drink I ever had at the Zig Zag. It kind of took on cult status within my friends and we all held up this or a similar recipe as the standard.
The Legend of the Green Swizzle
Bertie Wooster has this to say of Green Swizzles:
I have never been in the West Indies, but I am in a position to state that in certain of the fundamentals of life they are streets ahead of our European civilization. The man behind the counter, as kindly a bloke as I ever wish to meet, seemed to guess our requirements the moment we hove into view. Scarcely had our elbows touched the wood before he was leaping to and fro, bringing down a new bottle with each leap. A planter, apparently , does not consider he has had a drink unless it contains at least seven ingredients, and I'm not saying, mind you, that he isn't right.
The man behind the bar told us the things were called Green Swizzles; and, if ever I marry and have a son, Green Swizzle Wooster is the name that will go down in the register, in memory of the day his father's life was saved at Wembley.
from "The Rummy Affair of Old Biffy,"
by P. G. Wodehouse
"taken from the original recipe found by Andrew and given to me one and a half years ago:
1 1/2 oz. rum
1 oz. fresh lime juice
5 drops of Angostura bitters
shake and strain over ice into a tall glass, fill with soda water
Float 1/2 oz. green creme de menth
Garnish with fresh mint sprg.
Allow customer to do the final mix
7 ingredients. I think that I added the sugar / simple syrup somewhere along the way. That's where the confusion resided."
Recently , since the return of Absinthe to the market, I've begun to believe that the green fairy was the inspiration for the green swizzle, and not creme de menthe.... or at least thats what I want to believe. This is something I've been making lately and have been calling it the Green Swizzle Wooster.
"I have never been in the West Indies, but I am in a position to state that in certain of the fundamentals of life they are streets ahead of our European civilization...A planter, apparently, does not consider he has had a drink unless it contains at least seven ingredients, and I'm not saying, mind you, that he isn't right. The man behind the bar told us the things were called Green Swizzles; and, if ever I marry and have a son, Green Swizzle Wooster is the name that will go down in the register.."
there is a lot of debate on the history of his drink, and the recipe I use is what me and a friend think it may have been like.
Green Swizzle Wooster.
2 oz white rum
1 oz lime
1 oz simple
10 mint leaves
1 dash Agnostura
2 barspoons absinthe or anisette
Add mint and simple in a pint and gently bruise mint to release flavors.... gently. add rum, lime absinthe and bitters, shake with normal ice, then strain into a collins style glass. add crushed ice until glass is full. garnish with a mint sprig or lime or both.