Why There’s No Such Thing as a Mistake
Well sure, mistakes exist. But as far as I’m concerned, not when it comes to mixing cocktails. Just as in the culinary arts, recipes are templates. They’re guidelines that reflect the goals and tastes of the artist, but they’re never carved in stone. The purpose of the resulting dish (or cocktail, in our case) is to be enjoyed, and one must always adjust accordingly.
The other night, I set out to make a Queens Park Swizzle – one of my favorite rum-based cocktails – which I was preparing to introduce to you here. However, what I ended up making was a mixture of lime, sugar, mint, angostura bitters (all of which belong), and gin (which most certainly does not). I poured gin instead of rum by mistake. The funny thing about it is that I was already a sip or two into the drink before I realized it (I swear, I wasn’t drunk!)
What I ended up with was something very different than a Queens Park Swizzle. After all, rum and gin don’t have all that much in common when it comes to flavor. However, just because it wasn’t what I set out to make, that doesn’t make it wrong. Or bad. It was actually rather tasty (once I got over the fact that it wasn’t a Queens Park Swizzle). I don’t think this particular combination of ingredients and proportions already exists as a cocktail, so we may have invented something new. The King’s Park Swizzle? Of course, I could be wrong, and if I am, I hope one of you will correct me.
The moral of the story is that even though I made a mistake, I learned from (and enjoyed) the results, making it a lesson in my book. It’s also a reminder that experimentation – which is nothing more than a mistake made intentionally – is a very good thing.
The real Queens Park Swizzle to come soon. In the meantime, Cheers!