Although the practice of swizzling has been around for two centuries, John Mariani, in his Dictionary of American Food and Drink, dates the first mention of the term swizzle stick in print to 1879. As long as the drink is swizzled, it does not matter which spirits are used. The hundreds of swizzle sticks available today are simply long drink stirrers with palm trees, hula dancers, dolphins, and the usual list of suspect tiki designs attached at one end. It should also come as no surprise that the word swizzled also came to mean “drunk.” The swizzle has been put on the endangered species list because most swizzle drinks are no longer truly swizzled, but are shaken or stirred.
Vodka, Gin, Bourbon, and Rum Swizzles may all be made by substituting the respective spirit for the rum in a Rum Swizzle.