The Myers Park Swizzle


There is a classic cocktail called the Queen’s Park Swizzle named after the Trinidadian hotel where it was created.  Well, the neighborhood I live in is called Myers Park and I like my cocktails just like my men … tall, spicy, and chill(ed) … so I decided to create the Myers Park Swizzle that incorporates some of my favorite ingredients. After a few total failures, I’ve come up with something I really like.

Myers Park Swizzle Recipe

image3 oz Caña Brava Rum
.5 oz Plymouth Sloe Gin
1 oz Falernum
.75 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
1 oz Lemon Juice
3 dashes Cranberry Bitters
3 drops Bitterman’s Burlesque Bitters

Put all ingredients in a collins glass
Fill with crushed ice
Swizzle with a lele stick or bar spoon until the glass is frosty

I know it needs a garnish, but I have yet to decide what that will be.

A couple notes about the ingredients: any smooth white rum can be used. I chose Caña Brava because I wanted the ingredients to really relate to me, and this rum is from Panama, as is my mother.  Also I used B.G. Reynolds Falernum since I wanted a spicier flavor than I get from milder Falernums like Taylor’s Velvet.

Let me know how it goes if you give it a try.


Adventures in Boozy Bears


After the weirdness of my last batch of Rummy Bears, I decided some more experimentation was needed. The purposes of this experiment were to compare a new (to me) bear brand, against my usual, and also to see what they would taste like using SelvaRey Cacao Rum from Panama (my review of the rum will be added once I figure out what format I want to use for my tasting notes).


I started by buying two bags of bears: the usual Haribo Gold Bears; and the local store brand, Harris Teeter Sweet Monsters.  Here are the pre-booze differences: the Harris Teeter Sweet Monsters look more like teddy bears, and start out softer and smaller than Haribo. They also have blue bears in the mix. I like blue. The Haribo Gold Bears look more like bears in the wilderness who haven’t had enough to eat. They’re also quite a bit chewier.

After 24 hours in the rum, the bears were plumping nicely and needed to be topped off, so I poured in the last of my SelvaRey.  Though there was some coupling happening in the bowls, my occasional stirring prevented the major bear orgy of my last batch.  On the second night, the bears had absorbed most of the rum, but I was out of SelvaRey and I didn’t want to add another flavor, so I just let them frolick in what was left and gave them a bit of a stir every six hours or so to prevent anymore unauthorized mergers.

On the first day of Christmas my gummies gave to me
a whole bunch of yu-u-ummy!

It actually was Christmas Day when the bears emerged from their bath and they looked like a bunch of lovely jewels once I drained the little bit of remaining liquid!


As with the last batch, I did a side-by-side comparison of pre-booze and post-booze bears.  The Sweet Monsters (the store brand) have something about them that allows for good expansion without losing their definition, while the Haribo bears lost definition and got quite a bit slipperier than their more cuddly cousins.  I found it interesting that the store brand started as the softer of the two, but Haribo finished softer.  The Haribo bears clearly absorbed more booze.  I noticed that in the amount of topping off necessary, as well as in the flavor.  While the store brand bears tasted quite boozy, they didn’t have any of the alcohol “bite” that the Haribo bears had.  I should also note that the SelvaRey Cacao Rum was a genius choice!  The chocolate flavor really stands up to the fruity flavors of the bears.


So overall, I have to say I’ve been converted from Haribo to Harris Teeter Sweet Monsters … for now.

I’m back on my diet, after a December hiatus, so Rummy Bear experiments have been halted for the season, but will continue somewhere down the road.  Perhaps I’ll prepare a batch for The Hukilau!



I Made Rummy Bears!

I have a party (well actually a fierce Mai Tai competition) to attend in a couple days and no good guest shows up empty handed.  So I’m making Spiced Rummy Bears!!

It’s easy! My local grocery store didn’t have the  big bags of Gummi Bears, so I picked up three of the 5oz bags.  In previous trials I’ve found that the Haribo bears hold up best without losing their shape.  I decided I wanted this year’s bears to be a bit spicy, so they’ve been soaking in two parts Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum and 1 part King’s Ginger Liqueur.  I just put the bears in a stainless steel bowl, poured in enough of the booze combo to cover them and gave them a good stir.  After 24 hours in a covered bowl in the fridge, I found that most of the bears had banded together and became a big slab of bears that were also sticking to the bowl.  This has never happened to me.  I’m not sure if it’s because I didn’t stir them often enough, or if the fridge is maybe too cold.  Who knows!

Anyway, I had to surgically separate the conjoined bears and pour in more liquid since they had absorbed a healthy amount of The Sailor and The King in their first day.  I did find one that had escaped the bearblob and I’d held one out from the bowl to compare pre- and post-soaking size, just for S&G.  You can see the result in the picture below.  The one on the left has been soaking in booze for 24 hours, and looks about as glazed as I would if I had done the same.  Apparently booze does a Gummi good because, as you can see, the boozy bear is about 20% larger than the teetotaler.


The boozy bears (now swimming along as individuals) have gone back into the fridge for another night of soaking, and I decided to add some Meukow Vanilla Cognac to the mix to soften the bite of the ginger liqueur.  They needed more liquid to cover them anyway.  I’ll update this post once we have a final result, but right now I need to go give those bad boys a stir!

Update: After another day in the liquid, the bears gained some girth, but no more length.  Although they were a bit strong upon first approach, after a few cocktails everyone seemed to like them a whole lot more! Lesson learned: a couple drinks make everything better!

Here are the final side-by-side growth results: left=no booze bath, center=1 day in the booze, right=2 days in the booze.  I think either the Ginger Liqueur or the Vanilla Cognac compromised the integrity of the bears’ surface layer.  They seemed pretty beat up and there were gelatinous bits left in the liquid after straining the bears.  I don’t think that was from the separation operation after the first day.  Yet another weird thing that happened with this batch.  At least they were well received at the party!


Cheers to yummy rummy bears!

A Simple Mai Tai

The local tiki bar shut its doors for good this week, so to drown my sorrows I made myself a Mai Tai.  I prefer a simple recipe when making my own cocktails (especially after a long day at work), so I went with the short version using the ingredients listed below, all of which (except for the lime and mint) can be sourced at Southern Spirits in Fort Mill, SC, just 30 minutes from home.  The Denizen Merchant’s Reserve is specifically blended to duplicate the flavor of the two rums used in a traditional Trader Vic’s Mai Tai, so it’s less expensive and quicker than using two different rums. The Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao is not as sweet as other curaçao, so it balances out the Giffard Orgeat nicely.

Sadly, as soon as I’d made myself comfortable on the sofa with my drink in hand, I heard a loud buzzing in my ear and spent the next half hour tracking a North Carolina stink bug around my living room before getting to enjoy my beverage.  So it was a tad more diluted than I prefer, but even a diluted Mai Tai is better than no Mai tai.

Cheers and aloha!



2 oz      Denizen Merchant’s Reserve Rum
3/4 oz   Giffard Orgeat
3/4 oz   Fresh lime juice
1/2 oz   Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao


  • Shake all ingredients with crushed ice
  • Pour without straining into double old fashioned glass
  • Garnish with spent lime shell and a sprig of fresh mint
  • Use a short straw to get your nose into the mint upon approach.


Click here if you want to see what I was chasing around my apartment.