South Pole Swizzle

Billy Helmkamp, The Whistler | Chicago

“We first encountered kümmel in a funny-looking bottle featuring an image of a ‘kaiser penguin,'” says Billy Helmkamp, co-owner and co-beverage director at Chicago’s The Whistler, in reference to Gilka Kaiser-Kümmel.

The unique savoriness of the unusual—and, in the States, rare—spirit immediately intrigued, though. “Kümmel stands out among liqueurs … the taste and aroma are heavy on caraway and black pepper,” he says. “You wouldn’t think to use [it] in a tiki drink, but that’s exactly what we did with it.”

In his South Pole Swizzle, those flavors are a welcome, balancing addition to a tiki trio of passion fruit syrup, citrus and bitters.


Serving: 1

  • 1 1/4 ounces gin, preferably Letherbee
  • 3/4 ounce kümmel, preferably Gilka
  • 3/4 ounce passion fruit syrup, preferably from BG Reynolds
  • 1/2 ounce honey syrup (equal parts honey and water)
  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters

Garnish: orange peel

  1. Build all ingredients in a hurricane glass.
  2. Add crushed ice and swizzle.
  3. Top with more crushed ice and garnish with an orange peel.