This refreshing riff on Imbibe Magazine's Benton Park Swizzle (which itself is a riff on the classic Queen's Park Swizzle) is named for our beloved neighborhood park in the 12 South area of Nashville, the site of a weekly farmers' market and the perfect place to enjoy a sweet treat from Las Paletas on a warm afternoon.
The drink category of swizzles has a long and contested history. For simplicity, you can think of a swizzle like an upmarket mojito, though of course swizzles came first.
Technique is important. Use lots of crushed ice and build it in a tall glass, stirring (swizzling) as you go to create a julep-like frost on the outside. If you don't have a lélé twig on hand (who does?), just spin your favorite long bar spoon by rubbing it between your palms. And keep packing in the crushed ice until your cup runneth over.
This recipe adds a touch of the bitter amaro Fernet-Branca, which is hugely popular in South America and also widely available in the US. The peppermint top-note of Fernet is the perfect complement to the Mint Julep mixer and gold rum. There are many fine uses for Fernet, so go ahead and splurge on a bottle today.
2 oz. Gold Rum
.75 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
.5 oz. Fernet-Branca
Small handful of Mint Leaves
Club soda (optional)
Lightly muddle a few fresh mint leaves in the bottom of the glass and add a handful of crushed ice. Add the rum and lime juice and stir. Really swizzle it. Add more ice and the Mint Julep mixer. More swizzling. Pack the rest of the glass with ice and top with Fernet-Branca and (optional) a little club soda. One more big swizzle and then garnish with mint. Serve with a straw.