What is it?
The Melon Swizzle is a local watermelon-based drink that will remain on the bar menu at The Warehouse for as long as sweet, local watermelons are available. The cocktail is based on fresh fruit puree, local High Wire Silver Rum, light and easy-on-the-alcohol Vinho Verde, a squeeze of lime and sparkling water with a touch of simple syrup.
What's the story?
The original "swizzle " drinks were neither shaken nor stirred but "swizzled" with a swizzle stick. The latter is a stick or branch of Quararibea turbinata or the "swizzle stick tree." It does not grow here and plastic swizzle sticks are used stateside to produce this beverage, although proprietors with island connections have been known to bring back some branches. The progenitor of these drinks were Rum Swizzles and were created in the 1700s on rum plantations.
The bar team at The Warehouse has been dedicated to using local products in their cocktail program. Kerri DuPree was inspired to marry the sweet refreshment of local watermelon with a citrus brace of lime, a welcome "native" spirit in locally produced High Wire Silver Rum and the Portuguese "light" wine, Vinho Verde. The Melon Swizzle, taking its queue from the wine, is served in a wine glass.
Who's buying it?
This cocktail has found many kindred souls to embrace its sparkling sweet-tart refreshment as the dog days of August have lingered into September. Like the Bermuda Swizzle and drinks of its ilk, island cultures know how to produce alcoholic beverages that cool and refresh and do not intoxicate with a heavy concentration of booze.
Who's making it?
The bar team at The Warehouse, 451/2 Spring St., but watermelon-based cocktails also can be found around other bars in town, especially those that feature daiquiris, mojitos and swizzles. Look for a Watermelon Margarita at Rita's Seaside Grill and the Mac Melonball at The Macintosh.
What's the price?
The Melon Swizzle is ... "a refreshing way to end a hot summer day in Charleston, SC" - Candice James, Bluffton