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…