summer cocktails – classics evolve

When thinking of classic summer cocktails, two come to mind right away: The Whiskey Sour and the Tom Collins.  Maybe you can’t remember the last time you had one of these, especially made from scratch, but now’s the time to revisit these 150+ year old cocktails. They’re quick and easy and great thirst quenchers on a hot summer’s day. Mix up a batch of the classics, and for those who want to evolve, take it one step further and discover a whole new experience.

The Whiskey Sour is a classic cocktail dating from the mid-1800s inspiring many variations. The key to a good whiskey sour is freshly squeezed lemon juice, and although many prefer it with Bourbon, a blended whiskey or other favorite whiskey of choice is suitable. Always shaken and traditionally served in the sour glass, it can also be served in a highball glass with ice. This refreshing drink was perfectly described by Esquire’s 1945 Handbook for Hosts. “This is simply a species of fortified lemonade in concentrated form”.

Whiskey Sour
2 ounces Michter’s Small Batch American Unblended Whiskey
¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
½ ounce simple syrup
lemon or orange wheel
maraschino cherry
Shake the liquid ingredients vigorously with ice. Strain into a chilled sour glass. Garnish with lemon slice and cherry.

NOTE: Original recipes called for egg white to give the drink a frothy head. I find that using 2 dashes of Fee Brothers Fee Foam gives the same effect.

TIP: The second one I made in this session, I added a couple of dashes of the Bittermens Orange Cream Citrate Extract. It added another whole, wonderful, complex dimension to an already great cocktail.

EVOLVE
Classic is… well, classic, and has stood the test of time. But what can be more exciting than developing a classic into something even more intriguing. Revisit the classic, and then evolve with this!

Forbidden Sour
1 ounce Pama Pomegranate Liqueur
1 ounce Maker’s Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
½ ounce simple syrup
orange wheel
maraschino cherry
Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with an orange wheel and a cherry.

—- —- —- —- —-

The Tom Collins was created in the mid-1800s by John Collins, barman at Limmer’s Hotel in London, as a variation on his Holland gin-based John Collins cocktail. The original drink was named after the slightly sweet Old Tom Gin, as opposed to the latter version made with London dry gin, which became much more popular, catching on here after World War I vet’s brought it home to America.

Tom Collins
2 ounces Ransom Old Tom Gin
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
½ ounce simple syrup
3 ounces chilled Fever Tree Premium Spring Club Soda
lemon slice
maraschino cherry
Pour the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup into an ice filled Collins glass. Top with club soda and stir gently. Garnish with lemon slice and cherry.

 

EVOLVE
Classic is… well, classic, and has stood the test of time. But what can be more exciting than developing a classic into something even more intriguing. Revisit the classic, and then evolve with this!

Raspberry Collins
2 Raspberries
¼ ounce Simple Syrup (one part sugar, one part water)
2 ounces The Botanist Islay Dry Gin
1 ounce Fresh lemon juice
1 ounce Club soda – Q Club “A Superior Club Soda”
Lemon wheel, mint sprig and raspberries
In a highball glass, muddle the raspberries with simple syrup.  Add the gin and lemon juice, and stir. Fill with ice and top with the club soda. Garnish with a lemon wheel, a mint sprig and two more raspberries.

Rick Rehmer

About Rick Rehmer

I'm a self-taught cocktail enthusiast since the early 1970s when I bought my first cocktail books, Playboy's Host and Bar Book and the Mr. Boston's Official Bartender's Guide. I have a passion for well-crafted cocktails and all things Tiki. My current favorite cocktail book is Beachbum Berry's "Remixed" Grog Log & Intoxica! – A gallery of Tiki drinks. As of August 2012 I am a Member of the United States Bartenders Guild. Words to live by: Lardum facit vitam possibile ... Burbonius facit tanti vivum. (“Bacon makes life possible ... bourbon makes it worth living.") Cheers!
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One Response to summer cocktails – classics evolve

  1. Mark Fitch says:

    Rick: Great summer cocktails. If you ever get to Tucson, look me up. We have an original Tiki bar in the KonTiki from the 60’s, and its an original.

    Truly
    Mark

    http://www.kontikitucson.com/

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