Many islands have their own version of the Swizzle. But the Queen’s Park Swizzle “is the true expression of the Carribean,” according to Raymond C. Edwards, chief mixologist at the House of Angostura and an award-winning bartender.
The rum-based Tiki cocktail was reportedly created in the 1920s at the Queen’s Park Hotel in Trinidad’s Port of Spain; Trader Vic was said to have enjoyed the drink there. Angostura bitters played a major role in the popularity of The Queen’s Park Swizzle, Edwards notes. The aromatic bitters “helped enhance and tame the acidity of this cocktail.”
The once-grand Queen’s Park Hotel was sadly demolished in 1996, but the Queen’s Park Swizzle lives on. While you can use a bar spoon or whisk, for best results you want a proper sizzle stick—a fork-like branch from the allspice bush.
Why? An authentic swizzle muddles the mint leaves into a paste and then blends the ingredients with the crushed ice. A real swizzle stick also imparts a slightly spicy flavor; Edwards soaks his in Angostura bitters to preserve the wood.
To swizzle, Edwards says, you insert the forked end into the drink and briskly rotate the handle back and forth between your palms to incorporate the ingredients with the crushed ice. Move the stick up and down slightly, and add more crushed ice as needed. Give it a try or practice your technique with his recipe for the classic.
Queen’s Park Swizzle
2 oz. Angostura 7 yr. rum
1 oz. Rich Demerara sugar syrup (2:1)
1 oz. Lime juice
8-12 Fresh mint leaves
8 dashes Angostura bitters
In a highball glass, muddle fresh mint leaves in the lime juice, simple syrup and 4 dashes of bitters. Fill glass hallway with crushed ice. Pour rum over crushed ice and swizzle well until glass is ice cold and frosted. Add more crushed ice, then top off with 4 dashes of bitters. Garnish with a mint sprig.