Hotter than July – a cooling St James’s Swizzle
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.
St James's Swizzle
- 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
- 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).
- 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).
- 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?