The vast majority of cocktails in the Tropical/Tiki pantheon derive from a relatively small set of ingredients. At the end of the day, most recipes within the genre lean heavily on some combination of basics – rum, sour citrus (lemon or lime), and flavored syrups/liqueurs, e.g. orgeat or falernum. With so many imaginative bartenders constantly creating new libations, it’s a challenge to craft a compelling recipe that’s not a twist on something already invented. My Apricole Swizzle may be that rare bird.
Inspired by Jason’s Alexander’s mid-2015 exploration of all things swizzled, the beguiling flavor combination of rhum agricole, orgeat, lemon and apricot came to me on a rainy Seattle day when I wished I was back in the French West Indies. It’s simple to make and goes down all too quickly, leaving you craving another. Naming recipes is frequently a chore, but he slight homonymic similarity between apricot and agricole made the Apricole Swizzle name a no-brainer.
Apricole Swizzle (Cocktail Wonk, 2017)
- 2 oz high proof unaged agricole-style rhum (100 proof or higher)
- 0.5 oz orgeat (I used Giffard)
- 0.5 oz apricot liqueur (I used Giffard Abricot du Roussillon)
- 0.5 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
Build in chilled Collins glass or similar Tiki vessel. Add crushed ice to 2/3 full. Swizzle mightily with a bar spoon or lélé. Fill vessel to top with more crushed ice. Optionally, douse with 6-10 dashes of Angostura bitters to create a red “float”. Garnish festively with orchids or pineapple fronds.
In crafting this recipe, my goal was to let the agricole rhum come out front and center, which is why I specific high octane agricole. I’m a fan of the Rhum St. Barth “Cool”, for it’s honey-like notes, but obviously you should experiment with other high proof unaged agricoles from Martinique and Guadeloupe like Neisson or Rhum Clément.
The relatively small amounts of the other agreement create a pleasing sweet/sour background that doesn’t overrun the rhum. Swapping out the apricot liqueur for something like a peach liqueur could also be fruitful. (Ha!) You’ll want to leave the Angostura float undisturbed for as long as possible, and not stir it in. It provides a pleasing final twist to the cocktail.
Give this a try, and report back on what you think in the comments. And if you’re a fun of the apricot and agricole rhum combination like I am, don’t miss my Agricole Apricot Daiquiri recipe!