Rum: Swizzle – Bermudian Holiday Drink


According to several sources, swizzle is the National drink of Bermuda. If you’ve had it, you know why – it’s divine. The rum, citrus and ginger make for a refreshing libation.

My friend Ernest, whose family hails from Bermuda, says swizzle is a favorite at Christmas and New Year’s festivities (as well as the Cricket World Cup in the summer months). Frankly, after making this drink, it has already become a staple for me and for entertaining.

This recipe honors the three traditional ingredients of swizzle: dark rum, citrus and sweetener. For rum: use a dark one such as the Bermuda produced Gosling’s Black Seal Rum. The heavier body of darker rums stands firm with the bold flavors of the other ingredients. For citrus:  lime, pineapple and orange juice make a slightly tart, yet sweet combo.

And, finally, the sweetener that makes this an A+ cocktail . . . my ginger simple syrup. Although most recipes (including one from the legendary Swizzle Inn in Bermuda) use falernum, a simple syrup infused with almond, ginger and cloves, I could not locate it and knew most of you would have the same problem. So, I improvised and made my own simple syrup that highlighted the ginger and also imparts a nice molasses flavor. It’s good! Next time, I might add a few cloves.

This holiday season I’m glee with my Bermudian Swizzle. Now, if I could just score some cassava pie.

Tidbits on Rum

  1. The climate of the Caribbean is ideal for growing sugar cane and the region has become the epicenter of the world’s rum production with every major island producing signature rums.
  2. When spirits such as rum are removed from breathable barrels, where they mature, and are put into bottles, the rum no longer ages. A bottle of seven-year-old rum purchased five years ago is still considered seven years old.

Sources:; Encyclopedia of Food and Culture

Swizzle - Ginger Steeping _Ingredients_ ForkFingersChopsticks

Key to making this cocktail is making the ginger simple syrup in advance. Use a dark rum such as Gosling’s Black Seal Rum from Bermuda for an authentic touch.


Serves 4 to 6

6.5 oz. (200 mL) dark rum*

4 oz. fresh lime or lemon juice, strained (about 4-5 lemons or limes)

4 oz. pineapple juice

4 oz. orange juice

4 oz. ginger simple syrup

6 large dashes Angostura Bitters

6 dash Mixed Essence, optional


Lemon, lime or orange rind for garnish

Ginger Simple Syrup (make in advance)

1 cup cane sugar

1 cup water

4 inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled


  1. Prepare the simple syrup a day in advance or at least a few hours in advance (the longer the ginger steeps, the stronger the ginger taste). Peel ginger and slice very thinly. In a small saucepan, bring the water and ginger to a boil; add the cane sugar and reduce to simmer until sugar is completely dissolved. Let cool. Refrigerate in glass or jar. Note: the cane sugar will give your final drink an added molasses flavor as does the rum since they are both derived from sugar cane.
  2. Juice lemons or limes and strain to remove seeds and pulp. Measure and mix ingredients in a large pitcher. To serve, shake each serving in a shaker with ice and serve cocktail style with ice or like a martini, without. Garnish with fresh citrus rind, a slice of pineapple or a sprig of mint.


Alcohol:   experiment with additional alcohols such as triple sec, flavored rums, brandy, etc.

Citrus:  grapefruit, mango, just lime or lemon, someone recommended Hawaiian Punch

Carbonation:  club soda or ginger ale.

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2 Responses to Rum: Swizzle – Bermudian Holiday Drink

  1. Ernest says:

    Very nice!! I like it!

  2. Djole says:

    that there was a player caelld David Baramidze who arrived late for a game with Nigel Short with only 53 seconds left on his clock, and yet he still managed to win. I believe Bobby Fischer arrived fifty minutes late for a game, and yet he still managed to crush his opponent. Some people are just like that. They can arrive really late for their games, but they still manage to work some kind of a miracle and win when most lesser mortals would normally lose.

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