While some might call swizzles effeminate or more dainty in terms of the flavor, at least in the sense that the drinks are usually called “light and refreshing,” when you look at the concoction from an aesthetic perspective the concoction takes on a truly classic and strong cocktail-lover persona as soon as you look at the ingredients which go into most swizzles. In addition to the ingredients, the complex and fascinating flavors which come out of the swizzle genre of drinks reminds the imbiber that these can be serious libations in terms of palate distinction. Drinks it seems, just like cuisine, take on a sort of gendered connotation depending on the aesthetics and palate, but also in the ways in which someone is supposed to engage with the drink.
No one can argue that a Zombie has an inherently masculine bent, just like a Sazerac. But look at the composition of those drinks: strong, alcoholic monstrosities (very good monstrosities befitting of origins of the word monster, id est monstrum) which through nomenclature, taste or form scream booze, something that is still in many cases linked to spheres of masculinity. Since the swizzle, at least form the perspective of form, resembles a julep, it borders on a somewhat liminal zone, leaning in many cases towards the masculine, in terms of gender. Yet, regardless of the gender dimensions of an object, the distinctions of taste matter more, especially since libations are something to be imbibed, consumed and enjoyed. In other words, the decision over what is a good or bad drink comes down to the palate and the distinctions of taste that someone might exhibit. Of course, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a way to determine what is a good or bad drink, especially if you use abstract measures informed from conceptions of cultural capital, but when effort and technique is put into a cocktail like a swizzle, it is harder to say it is a bad drink, since the majority of people making one, especially in this country, would be well informed about cocktails as a whole.
This drink, originating in San Francisco, is like Fernet and Pisco Punch, in that it is pretty notable in that area, and is quite commonly consumed and popular during the summer months. Marco, as the creator, is a well-known proprietor and cocktail aficionado in the area, helping to establish the cocktail movement within the bay area. Marco was working at Clock Bar, creating the beverage program for the hotel bar, and was also one of the founders for the San Francisco Chapter of the USBG. He launched in 2009 a cocktail catering service with Scott Beattie and Joseph Ehrmann, also greatly appreciated bartenders of the area. Currently he works as a bartender at Smuggler’s Cove, one of the best bars in the country, especially for rum drinks.
The Chartreuse plays fantastically with the acidity of the lime and the pineapple, and I cannot recommend enough using freshly made pineapple juice. However, unsweetened works fairly well, since you don’t want to overpower the character of the liqueur. To increase the sweetness makes the cocktail one which would require increased spirit or acidity to balance it out, and then you just keep adding on to the overall volume of the drink. There are some variations on the Chartreuse Swizzle that you can find online using yellow instead of green, but the drinks use other spirits in addition to the rum, which changes the entire style of the libation.
Chartreuse, being one of my favorite ingredients, makes this just a great, all-around drink. However, there has been one interesting variation on the drink I have seen, which was done by Frederic of Cocktail Slut. Adding in some bitters and J. Wray and Nephew Rum, the drink takes on more spice and winter-spice notes, which is definitely something I can do to give myself the illusion of a winter cocktail during the summer-winter that is encroaching in Houston.
Chartreuse Swizzle:1 1/2 ounces green Chartreuse1/2 ounce falernum1 ounce pineapple juice
3/4 ounce lime juice
Combine the ingredients over shaved/crushed ice in a highball glass. Using a swizzle stick, or a bar spoon, swizzle the liquid to get the glass nice and frosty. Garnish with fresh mint and freshly grated nutmeg.
Wondrich, David. 2007.Imbibe!: From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to “Professor” Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar. New York: Penguin Group.
–. 2010. Esquire Magazine. “Queen’s Park Swizzle.” Esquire.com. http://www.esquire.com/drinks/queens-park-swizzle-drink-recipe (accessed August 31, 2010) .