Summer is on in earnest now. Even here at drink-of-the-week central, in late-to-warm-up semi-coastal Southern California, the temps are finally starting to hit the eighties. So, it’s time to highlight some good warm weather drinks and Tom Collins is an excellent place to start. Though the genesis of the name remains a topic of speculations — we’d go into it, but it’s just too hot — and rather nasty Collins mixes have besmirched its mysterious monicker, this is an excellent and easy to make classic refreshment. It’s also substantially less rich in sugar and calories than drinks containing pre-made sodas, including the venerable gin and tonic. (Tonic water might taste slightly bitter, but it’s as high in calories as most sugary sodas.)
2 ounces gin
1-2 ounces lemon juice
1-2 teaspoons superfine sugar
Lemon slice and maraschino cherry (garnish)
Dissolve sugar in lemon juice in, naturally, a Collins glass. Add ice, gin and fill the balance with soda water. Stir with swizzle stick or cocktail spoon, add lemon wedge and a very optional maraschino cherry as garnish.
As you can see, we’ve left a considerable amount of wiggle room here. If you like your drinks very tart, use two ounces of lemon juice and one teaspoon of sugar. If you have a slight sweet-tooth like we do, use just one ounce of lemon juice and 2 teaspoons of superfine sugar. It’s still fairly tart but not alarmingly so, and those two teaspoons of sugar only have 32 calories, about half of what you’d get out of half a can of soda. Of course, the gin has more.
Speaking of gin, there are, of course many variations using other booze. The most popular being the vodka Collins and John Collins (aka, the whiskey collins). We love the latter a lot, but looking at the Wikipedia entry for the drink, we’re joansing to try the Jose Collins (with tequila, naturally), the Ron Collins (with rum), or the Sandy Collins (with Scotch). On the other hand, we have no desire to try the Phil Collins, a mocktail, which substitutes 7-Up for the booze. However, we are still trying to figure out a good “Susudio” joke, except that there probably is no such thing…
Summer is here. Well, it’s been here for a while in most parts of the country, and there is lots of it left. That means beaches, lots of outdoor activities and one of the things guys love most–grilling.
But have you ever been in a situation where you just want to spontaneously grill, and you can’t because you’re on the road, unprepared, or out of propane or charcoal?
Well, EZ Grill has the answer, and is the answer for you. Before I ramble on into info-mercialism here, I’ll just tell you that I was sent a sample of one of these mechanisms to try, and I finally did so for lunch today. And let me tell you, it not only cooked my bratwurst to perfection (yeah, I live in Wisconsin), but it was so easy a monkey could do it.
All you need to do is remove the plastic packaging and cardboard top that has the directions on it. You shake the grill and put it on its little stand. Then, and this is important….you have to place it on a heat-resistant surface. For me, this was the concrete patio off of our den. You light the paper underneath the grates that fires up the charcoal beneath it, and you’re ready to rock. After about 10-15 minutes of flames, the grill is ready when the coals are charred and the flames have died down. For you pros, you could have just skipped the last few lines…that’s Grilling 101. Anyway, it took my brat about 10 minutes to cook, and it was previously frozen. So that’s pretty awesome.
The grill is small….it might be able to fit 4 burgers or so. But you can always buy more than one. It’s also disposable and recyclable. A win-win for you and for the environment. And it’s inexpensive. I saw one in the store for $20, but now you can even buy this bundle pack for $19.99. Yes, and if you order now…..(sorry, couldn’t resist!). But you get the idea. This is a great product. Buy a few and keep them on hand or in the trunk of your car for when you might need it.