The research I put into my recent New York Times article about swizzles possessed we with the notion that I must, must, must somehow get my hands on a real swizzle stick—the wooden kind that grow naturally from the Swizzle Stick Tree on various islands in the Caribbean.
When two friends of mine announced they were headed down Trinidad-way, I received promises from them both that they would come back with a swizzle stick. Trinidad was the home of the Queen's Park Hotel, which was in turn home to the Queen's Park Swizzle, the most famous swizzle drink of them all. How could I miss?
Well, apparently, the swizzle stick trade isn't what it used to be. Neither friend could locate the genuine item. Both, however, returned with larger, man-made facsimiles.
The one below forsakes the natural wooden prongs found at the joints of the Swizzle Stick Tree branches with a honeycomb of wiring, similar to that on a whisk.
This second one is made entirely out of wood, with the star-shaped object at the end obviously cut quickly by a jigsaw of something.
Both are on the large side, and I'm guessing that they're meant to swizzling things other than cocktails, such as punches or soups. (They swizzle everything in the Caribbean.) I can fit the metal one into certain glasses, but it's a trifle difficult extracting it once the drink is filled with ice. The wooden one unfortunately doesn't fit any highball glass I own.
The quest continues. Anyone out there heading downing south?