Monday, March 9, 2009

MxMo: First Time Cocktails

I managed to break my resolution after only one month when I missed Mixology Monday last month, but this month I'm all over it.

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.
For the first group, I was thinking Violet Fizz. It's a lovely, light cocktail, with complexity and an interesting ingredient that would be fun to talk about. It might work for the third group too, but definitely not for the second one (too frou-frou sounding and flowery tasting).

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.

Tom Collins
2-2½ oz Gin (Distiller's Gin No. 6)
1 oz Lemon Juice
½ oz Simple Syrup (adjust to taste)
Club Soda

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.


Cocktail Buzz said...

Hi Sonja-
With warm weather approaching (hopefully), the Tom Collins is a delight, and if sweet enough (but not too sweet), a good call for first-timers. Sometimes we add in a splash of lime juice (for good measure). We call this the Dom Collins. Thanks for the post. Cheer! Paul & Steve

~Sonja~ said...

Thanks for the visit and the comment, Paul and Steve!