Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cocktail Wednesdays: The Tom Collins

The Tom Collins

The highball drink that we decided to try this week is a classic: The Tom Collins.

The Tom Collins -- or The John Collins if made with genever rather than gin -- is a very old drink that forms the basis of a whole class of drinks. In order to get a sense of how to judge this class of drinks, and highballs as a whole, we tried The Tom Collins tonight.

The Tom Collins

2 oz (London Dry) Gin
1 oz Lemon Juice
1 tsp Powdered Sugar (+/- to taste)
3 oz Club Soda (+/- to taste)

Stir gin, lemon juice, and sugar together in a Collins glass until sugar is dissolved.
Add 2-3 ice cubes and top with Club Soda.
Garnish with a lemon slice.

The verdict: It is basically carbonated lemonade (or lemon squash in British parlance) with gin. Other recipes call for simple syrup rather than powdered sugar, which is the way we recently made lemonade. The lemonade and the juniper complimented each other nicely. The thing that surprised me the most was the huge difference between the first Collinses we made with Bombay Saphire London Dry Gin and the ones we made after we ran out of the Bombay, with Beefeater London Dry Gin. The drinks made with the Beefeater did not have much of a juniper note at all, to the extent that it basically tasted like there was no gin in it. With the Bombay, the gin was a lovely compliment to the lemonade.

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