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Queen's Park Swizzle


 I often describe the Queen's Park Swizzle as a grown up Mojito. It has aged rum instead of white rum, demerara syrup instead of plain simple syrup, plus a few dashes of Angostura bitters.  It's a bit more complex than your average beach drink, and more strikingly beautiful than just about any cocktail you'll find. The best part? It tastes as good as it looks.

It was first conceived in the 1920s at the Queen's Park Hotel in Trinidad, located in the ritzy Port of Spain.  In its day this was said to be one of the finest hotels in the world.  This drink was also favorite of Tiki-pioneer Trader Vic.


Crushed ice or at least cracked ice is essential for this one to work properly.  And while that may require a little extra effort, the nice thing about swizzles is they’re built right in the glass, no shaking or stirring. See below.



  • 2 oz aged/amber rum

  • ¾ oz lime juice

  • ½ oz demerara syrup

  • 3-4 dashes Angostura bitters

  • 8-10 mint leaves, plus 2 sprigs for garnish

  1. In a collins glass or tall pilsner glass, muddle the mint in the demerara syrup.  

  2. Add the lime juice, rum and fill crushed ice.  Swizzle with a swizzle stick or barpsoon until frost begins to appear on the side glass.  Be careful not to let the mint travel up, keep it on the bottom.  

  3. Top will more crushed ice if needed and add the Angostura dashes to form a layer on top of the drink.  Finish with a few more pebbles of ice and garnish with the mint sprigs. 

If you make a Queen's Park Swizzle,

let me see!  Tag a photo with #socialhourcocktails on Instagram.

rye whiskey, social hour, tom macy, cocktail, classic cocktail



Swizzling is a mixing alternative to shaking or stirring generally reserved for tropical and tiki cocktails.  The method is pretty straightforward: 


  1. Combine all the cocktail's ingredients in a tall glass.

  2. Filling it with crushed ice and plunge in a swizzle stick (a barspoon works as well).

  3. Spin the swizzle it between your hands like you’re trying to start a campfire, while moving it up and down the glass.


This blends, chills and dilutes the cocktail, just as shaking and stirring does.  Though proper swizzle takes some time, about 30-45 seconds.  Could you shake the cocktail with ice separately and then strain it into tall glass over crushed ice and get the same result, only faster?  Yeah, pretty much.  


But speed and efficiency is not the goal here. Swizzling is as much about making a cocktail as it is showmanship.  The guest can see drink being prepared before their eyes. Eventually frost will appear on the side of the glass, a sign that your tropical drink has reached optimum levels of deliciousness.  


Note - In the case of the Queen’s Park Swizzle, while shaking may blend the ingredients effectively, this one is always best swizzled.  Not because swizzling part of the namesake, but rather so the mint stays on the bottom on the glass, preserving that lovely visual contrast. 

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