The vast majority of cocktails from 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 like orgeat or falernum. With so many imaginative bartenders constantly creating new libations, it’s challenging to craft a compelling recipe that’s not a twist on something already invented. My Apricole Swizzle is that rare bird.
(QUICK COMMERCIAL BREAK: Since publishing this recipe, it’s popularity led me to include it in the book, Minimalist Tiki — my geeky paean to modern Tiki for the home enthusiasts. Within the book you’ll find 100 additional recipes by some of the brightest minds in Tiki today, like Kevin Beary, Marie King, Jeanie Grant, Zombie Village, Lost Lake, etc….)
We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.
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 while wishing I was back in the French West Indies. It’s simple to make and goes down all too easily, leaving you craving another. Naming recipes is frequently a chore, but the slight homonymic similarity between apricot and agricole made Apricole Swizzle a no-brainer name.
Apricole Swizzle (Cocktail Wonk, 2017)
- 0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
- 0.5 oz orgeat (e.g. Giffard)
- 0.5 oz apricot liqueur (e.g. Giffard Abricot du Roussillon)
- 2 oz high proof unaged agricole-style rhum (100 proof or higher)
Build in chilled Collins glass or similar Tiki vessel. Add crushed ice to 2/3 full. Swizzle mightily with a bar spoon or lélé.
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 specified high octane agricole. I’m a fan of the Rhum St. Barth “Cool”, for it’s honey-like notes, but definitely experiment with other high proof unaged agricoles from Martinique and Guadeloupe like Neisson or Rhum Clément.
The small amounts of the other ingredients create a pleasing sweet/sour background that doesn’t dominate the rhum. Swapping out apricot liqueur for something equally fruity like peach liqueur might 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 denouement to the experience.
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!