Our hosts are the lovely ladies of LUPEC Boston, and their chosen theme is "First Times." They've challenged us to write about a cocktail you might suggest to a cocktail virgin. Inspired by Pink Lady's story of meeting a Christian rocker who, at age 32, had never had a cocktail, I started thinking about the people I know that haven't had a cocktail. A few different types of people popped into my head:
- "I Don't Drink" (Much) - I have some friends, mostly from earlier times in my life, that don't really drink. No beer, and often no wine either, let alone cocktails. There are a variety of reasons why they don't drink, but on occasion they might be open to trying something.
- "I'll Have a Bud" - Perhaps you have some relatives like some of mine - nice enough folks, but they aren't adventurous drinkers. At all. They drink beer, American big-brand beer. Like Budweiser or maybe MGD if you're gettin' exotic.
- "I Only Drink Wine" - Know any of these? They consider cocktails "too strong," and prefer to "take it easy" with wine, even if they have several glasses (or more) in a night. They might've had (bad) cocktails when they were younger, but it's been a long time.
So I went for the Tom Collins. It's a classic, light and balanced cocktail when made with fresh juice & simple syrup. Plus, it's easy to make, and not so complex or strong as to overwhelm the inexperienced.
2-2½ oz Gin (Distiller's Gin No. 6)
1 oz Lemon Juice
½ oz Simple Syrup (adjust to taste)
Shake gin, juice and simple with ice. Strain into ice-filled collins glass. Top up with club soda, and garnish with orange slice and maraschino cherry.
This is an old drink, first printed in Jerry Thomas's bartending guide in the 1860's. However, the origins of it's name, and it's original composition, are hotly debated topics. I figure my non-cocktail loving friends won't want too much story anyway, so I probably wouldn't get into all of that.