A few of you may have wondered what those little plastic sticks added to a post mixed Gin and Tonic or Vodka Soda were for. They are indeed swizzle sticks, perfect for entwining the silky threads of falernum syrup around the shaved ice as it melds the rum and juice into a truly perfect marriage.
The swizzle is a drink from the Caribbean, a true tiki classic. Most histories point to Barbados as the home and as such Barbadian Rum would probably be a fine choice. I, however, am going to go all Nicaraguan on you and suggest the mystically smooth stylings of Flor de Cana Rum.
Take 60 mls of Flor de Cana Black Label, add 30 mls of fresh lime juice and 30 mls of fresh pineapple juice (or you can muddle a few chunks…)
Shake the mixture and strain into an iced glass, topping the drink with shaved ice. finish the drink with between 10 and 15 mls of falernum syrup.
Ok, now this is why the recipe is tagged maximum effort. Falernum requires effort and patience. there are a few recipes floating around the web, the most involved of which is at the Cocktail Chronicles.
I’ve tried my hand at this, and I will photograph the process later to explain it all, but in short.
Add the zest of 5 decent sized limes, 1/4 cup of almonds, roasted off in a tray, a tablespoon of cloves, a thumb sized knob of ginger, finely chopped, skin on to 250ml white rum, (I used Bacardi.) Leave it to soak overnight, fine straining, or cheese clothing out the bits in the morning. The result should be pungent and pretty green.
Add this infusion to 500 mls of 2:1 sugar syrup (twice as much sugar as simple syrup) the juice of the limes you zested the night before and a dash of almond extract, if the toasted almonds haven’t come through.
I haven’t tried adding gomme instead of 2:1 syrup, but I think the result might be special.