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Hotter than July – a cooling St James’s Swizzle

July 30, 2016

Can you imagine living somewhere that you never look at the weather forecast? You open your wardrobe and decide what you want to wear that day based on your mood or the occasion but never with a range of climatic changes in mind. That’s my life in Dubai and when I return to the UK getting to grips with the weather excites and slightly challenges me. I enjoy wrapping up warm and even whipping out my umbrella. We had a few days last week that made me feel right at home with temperatures soaring over 30 C (although I wouldn’t be in crazy Dubai’s summer temperatures of over 50 C right now).  

My bartending mentor Denzel Heath created a cocktail just right for beating the heat. It’s perfect to sip on my Mum’s patio overlooking her beautiful flower border, listening to her complain about how hot it is and how all the plants are dying!

A few things we did on sunny days during July… (click on a pic to see the full image):

Inspired by The Queen’s Park Swizzle which was named after the Trinidadian hotel where it was first concocted in the 1920s, this is The St James’s Swizzle as, instead of the original rum, it uses No 3 gin. This is one of my favourite gins made by Berry Brothers and Rudd, a wine merchant which can trace the foundations of its family business back to a shop in No 3 James’s Street in London opened in 1698 and has been there ever since. Simple to make; long, cool and green – just like the bottle. Here’s to more beautiful English summer days – and good weather wherever you are.

How to make a St James's Swizzle gin cocktail on

St James's Swizzle

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • Long glass such as a highball
  • Swizzle or bar spoon


  • fresh mint sprigs
  • 60ml No. 3
  • 15ml green Chartreuse * optional
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 30ml fresh lime juice
  • crushed ice
  • 2 drops Bittermen’s Orchard Street Celery Shrub**
  • 2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters**
  • 2 dash Angostura Orange Bitters**
  • Garnish: mint leaves, celery stick

How to mix

  1. Place torn mint leaves in the bottom of a glass and muddle gently (i.e bruise the leaves to release the aromatic oils – I use the end of a wooden spoon).
  2. Add the gin, Chartreuse, sugar cube and lime juice. Top up with crushed ice, and swizzle vigorously until the glass frosts (about 15 to 20 seconds).
  3. Add additional fresh crushed ice to mound the glass, and dash the bitters on top liberally.

*for depth and dimension

**if you don’t have the celery bitters you can substitute with 10ml of celery juice, for the 2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters & 2 dash Angostura Orange Bitters – substitute with 4 dashes of either instead of both.


Read more about swizzling and swizzle sticks or watch a video by Jim Meehan famous founder of PDT New York on how to swizzle. Don’t worry – a bar spoon works fine too.

Of course as I press publish on this post, the English weather has gone back to its usual varied self. I’ll have to pour myself one of these and dream. How’s your summer going?









  1. July 30, 2016 11:28 am

    Mmm, looks good! Course it has ingredients hard to source here in Chagford! I was never a G&T fan until I moved to Dubai – my drink used to be whisky and water – but now it’s my go-to glass. At present, it’s really exciting that there are so many new gins on the market. Pwrhaps for a future column you can get a friendly Dubai sommelier to talk you through some of the variety. For me, at present, I’m really enjoying Greenall’s London Dry Gin…

    • The Real Geordie Armani permalink
      July 30, 2016 12:12 pm

      Dave try some Hendricks Gin, its our favourite, fabulous with some Fever Tree Tonic, ice and a cucumber 🙂

  2. July 30, 2016 12:33 pm

    Much as I wish we could skip through the two or three coldest months of winter, I think I’d miss the seasons hugely and even our variable weather! But at the same time, sunny days most days sounds good. Cocktail looks lush!

  3. July 30, 2016 4:45 pm

    We are in Mauritius currently but stopped via Dubai and even in the airport, I could feel how ridiculously hot it was! I can’t imagine living in that heat although I do massively prefer summer to winter. This cocktail is a new one to me but I just love the name! IT sounds so refreshing – perfect for a hot sunny day.

  4. July 30, 2016 4:56 pm

    Looks refreshing and great photo

  5. Jagruti permalink
    July 30, 2016 7:46 pm

    Refreshing looks so beautiful

  6. August 1, 2016 3:58 am

    Gorgeous photos Sally and reminds me old my old life back in Northamptonshire 😄

  7. Angela permalink
    August 1, 2016 11:43 am

    I would so love to try the St James swizzle looks yummylicious

  8. August 10, 2016 9:54 pm

    This looks so refreshing! Apparently we’re due another heat wave next week so this will be perfect 🙂

  9. August 10, 2016 11:54 pm

    That sounds divine. Much more interesting than the wine I currently have in my hand.

  10. August 11, 2016 1:23 am

    I’ve never been very adventurous with drinks so would love to try this, looks so inviting:-)

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