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Swizzle and Sip

By: Courtne

Who doesn’t welcome the summer solstice?  It ushers in a feeling of freedom and anticipation fostered since grade school.

When warmer days meant the inevitable end of a school year and a summer full of adventures to be had.

I feel the exact same way as an adult, only my anticipations are less about what camp I may have conned my parents into sending me to, or which pool would have the hottest lifeguards.  Instead, my eager anticipation centers on what cocktail will be my summer flight of fancy.  Will it be a spritzer or a martini? A punch or a new fangled margarita? In the past, my wandering eye has led me to sure bets like the Caipirinha or a Hemmingway Daiquiri. But this summer, I thought I’d explore the world of punches.

Now I’m no stranger to punch drinks. In my youth there was the Hairy Buffalo, which many would argue vehemently is not a punch drink (tell that to my Midwest college buddies). As a more refined adult, this has been mercifully replaced with a slew of rum punches of varying flavors and inspirations. But I couldn’t help but wonder if there are other punches out there.  A few underrepresented elixirs that perhaps do not have a sordid history with a scraggly bearded man with a wooden leg.  And in the midst of my wondering, I stumbled upon a story about Barbadian punch.

What caught my eye was two fold; it hails from Barbados, my husband’s ancestral homeland; and it features- oddly enough- gin. And we all know gin is the spirit of summer.  The spirit used in this age-old recipe was not the gin we know today, but rather its grandfather, Holland gin or genever.  It is mixed in much the same way countless other punches are, with a foundation of citrus, sugar and water. Only this recipe gets slightly more specific, calling for coconut water and Demerara sugar (Demarara sugar is a large grain, unrefined sweetener made from sugar cane).

Sounds delightful. So I looked to my bar to see what I could see.  A quite random bottle of genever (given as a gift last Christmas) and a stack of handmade swizzle sticks, courtesy from a recent trip to St Lucia Distillers. Finally, I get to use a swizzle stick (and no, I do not mean the plastic kind with so-and-so brand perched on top).

Prior to said trip, I had no idea swizzling was a method, let alone an official cocktail tool. So I set about swizzling and sipping and sipping and swizzling. And after a few rounds of perfecting this pale punch, I give it a stamp of approval and pass it along to you with a high recommendation (and a nod to Imbibe magazine for the timely discovery)…

2 oz genever
2 oz coconut water
½ oz lime juice
½ oz demerara syrup (2:1)
2 dashes Angostora bitters
Crushed ice

Posted: August 14, 2012 | Permalink
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