Cocktail Recipes/ Home/ Isolation Recipes

Classic Swizzle | West Indies Cocktail c1830 |

Classic Swizzle

A swizzle is perhaps the most perfect cocktail for a hot day, a classic swizzle is possibly one of the coldest most refreshing drink you can imagine.  As we live in South West Florida the swizzle is part of our frequent repertoire of summer cocktails.

To make an old school classic swizzle you will need a liqueur called Velvet Falernum, If you don’t have experience with this one, you should.  It is a positively wonderful liqueur, with so many uses, like the Velvet Underground cocktail.  In this classic I added Fee Brother’s Old Fashioned Bitters for the cinnamon hints and simple syrup for balance.

Classic Swizzle

Aviation Gin. Velvet Falernum. Lemon. Fee Brothers Old Fashioned Bitters. Simple Syrup. 

What Is A Swizzle Exactly?

There is a good chance you have heard of a swizzle stick, which is a long wood or metal stick with 4-5 short prongs sticking perpendicular from one end.  Classically, the drink is made be shaving ice to the consistency of snow, filling 1/2 a glass with it, adding the ingredients and spinning the swizzle stick between your palms until the drink is whipped into a frappe.  This take a while, and making snow ice is not always possible, the result is pretty phenomenal though..  Modern swizzle cocktails are similar but less time consuming, opting for finely cracked ice over shaved.

My swizzles start the same way as the classic, but I prefer to make them more in the style of a julep, or Mojito, that is to say start with 1/2 a glass of highly cracked ice, make the swizzle, and fill the remaining portion glass with more ice to the brim.

The basic recipe for a swizzle is 1 1/2 ounces of a base spirit, typically flavorful rum or gin.  Classically, for rum something funky like Havana Club rum or, Bols Genever or old tom.  Then add a complimentary liquor, dash of bitters, and a touch of sweet syrup.   This is a very old West Indian drink so in a classic swizzle sense these would be appropriate.

Delicious Swizzle Variants

Delicious Swizzle Variants

The great thing about a swizzle is with such a simple base you can let your imagination run wild.  As mine have evolved to match the heat of summer in the tropics, I tend to add 1/2 to a 3/4 ounce ounce of citrus juice as well. This pushes them more toward their cousin the mojito, so refreshing.

Classic Swizzle Cocktail

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
By Rick Britt Serves: 1 Cocktail
Prep Time: 2 minutes

A swizzle is perhaps the most perfect cocktail for a hot day, a classic swizzle is possibly one of the coldest most refreshing drink you can imagine.


  • 1 1/2 ounce Aviation Gin
  • 1 ounce Velvet Falernum
  • 3/4 ounce Lemon Juice
  • 2 Dashes Fee Brothers Old Fashioned Bitters
  • 2 tsp Simple Syrup



Fill 1/2 a Collins glass with as finely cracked ice as possible (if you have an ice bag smash it well with a hammer).


Add all ingredients to the glass.


Using s swizzle stick between the palms of your hands spin until about 1/2 the ice is melted.


Top remaining glass with cracked ice to overflowing.


Serve with a long straw.


Serve by holding the rim, to take care not to touch the sides of the glass as you will leave finger marks, as the glass will be completely frosty like a Julep.

Try our other fantastic swizzle recipes:

Blackberry Swizzle | A New Classic |

Italian Swizzle |Refreshing Taste of Milan |

Summer Afternoon Swizzle | Flowers & Sunshine |

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply