This Thirsty Thursday, mix up your cocktail game with a drink that may not be too familiar: a Tom Collins!
What’s a Tom Collins?
A Tom Collins dates back to 1876 when “the Father of American Mixology,” Jerry Thomas, first described the it in writing as a “gin and sparkling lemonade” drink. The cocktail gets its name from the glass it’s served in, a Collins glass, which is cylindrical in shape and narrower than a highball glass. The traditional ingredients are simple: gin, lemon juice, sugar and carbonated water, but many variations exist, including the Brandy Collins (using Brandy), the Jack Collins (using applejack) and the Ron Collins (using rum).
Our Tom Collins Recipe (makes 6):
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups gin
3/4 cup lemon juice
2 cups club soda
In a small saucepan, bring 2 tablespoons water to a boil over medium heat. Stir in the sugar until dissolved. Let cool.
In a pitcher, stir together the gin, lemon juice and cooled sugar syrup. Stir in the club soda. Pour into 6 ice-filled tall glasses.
This Thirsty Thursday, mix up your cocktail game with a drink that may not be too familiar: a Pimm’s Cup!
What’s a Pimm’s Cup?
A Pimm’s Cup cocktail originates in London in the 1820′s when James Pimm offered a gin-based tonic at his oyster bar to aid in digestion. The drink contained a secret mixture of liqueurs and herbs and to keep up with demand, Pimm began distilling it in mass quantities. Soon, Pimm’s No. 1 was frequently used in cocktails containing fruit and either ginger ale or lemonade. It has since been declared one of two official drinks of Wimbledon– the other being champagne– and has gained popularity among British universities. The Pimm’s cocktail is great for the summer because it’s light and refreshing and won’t leave you feeling woozy or overheated. Plus, it’s a great excuse to use up some summer produce!
Our Pimm’s Cocktail recipe (makes 2)
1/2 cup Pimm’s No. 1 liqueur
2 cups chilled lemon-lime soda
4 cucumber slices
2 orange slices
2 strawberries, sliced
2 sprigs mint
Divide liqueur and soda between 2 tall glasses. Add cucumber, orange and strawberry slices, then ice. Garnish with mint.
This Thirsty Thursday, mix up your cocktail game with a drink that may not be too familiar: a Gimlet!
What’s a Gimlet?
A gimlet is a historic cocktail dating back to the 1920′s made of one part gin, one part lime juice. It’s name is derived from a tool used to drill holes, and given the potency of the cocktail, it is said to have a “penetrating” effect on the consumer. A gimlet can also be made with vodka, if that’s more your poison of choice.
Our Gimlet recipe (makes 1):
4 ounces gin
2 tablespoons sweetened lime juice, such as Rose’s
1 lime wheel, for garnishing
In cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake gin and lime juice for about 1 minute. Pour into martini glass. Garnish with lime.
You don’t need to buy a cocktail muddler to make smashing good drinks. Chances are, you have a tool that can crush herbs already on hand. Three to try: the handle of a wooden spoon or spatula (the fatter the better), the handle of an ice cream scoop or the flat end of a tapered rolling pin. Now that you’ve got the gear, here’s how to use it (like in our brand new Cucumber-Basil Smash!):
1. Place the ingredients you want to muddle (usually fresh herbs and sugar) in the bottom of a pint glass, shaker or sturdy pitcher (for big batches).
2. Using the muddler, press down on the mixture in the bottom of the glass and gently twist. Stop as soon as the herbs release their aromatic oils. (You’ll smell ‘em!) And go easy with the squishing! The idea is to release the fragrance of the herbs without ripping the leaves, which can unleash bitter chlorophyll into your cocktail.
Here are some more cocktail ideas for you to muddle up!
No Mother’s Day brunch is complete without a cocktail that’s as fabulous as mom herself. This year, try something that’s light, refreshing and seasonal, like our Strawberry-Prosecco Sparkler.
HOW TO: Drop a sugar cube into each of 6 glasses and douse with a few dashes of Angostura bitters. Pour prosecco, champagne or other sparkling wine over top; garnish with sliced strawberries.
This sipper is both sweet and tart, and will pair perfectly with your spring brunch menu. Happy Mother’s Day!
Now that we’ve encouraged you to celebrate Cinco de Mayo on a Monday, you may need a little hair of the dog tomorrow morning. But why stick to the traditional mimosa or bloody mary when you can go international? These might not be your typical drinks of choice first thing in the a.m., but if a whole country swears by it, they must be doing something right.
Mexico‘s go-to hair of the dog is a michelada, a frosty mug of beer typically spiked with tomatoe juice, worcestershire sauce, lime and a kick of spicy heat.
In Mongolia, hangover relief is in the eye of the beholder–if you happen to hang out with livestock. Pop a pickled sheep’s eyeball in some tomato juice, swirl and gulp. Whatever you do, don’t chew!
Waking up wrecked in Poland can make you quite the sourpuss: Among the most trusted local hangover cures is pickle juice. Straight up.
Have we changed your mind about going loco tonight? We hope not!
With Cinco de Mayo right around the corner, you’re definitely going to need a fruity and refreshing blended drink to was down all those chips and guac. Rather than making the classic margarita or piña colada, blend something up that’s a little bit sweet, a little bit sour and is just as festive looking as the sombrero on your head: a Lemon-Berry Freeze.
In a blender, puree 2 cups ice cubes, 3/4 cup frozen lemonade concentrate, 3/4 cup vodka, 6 hulled strawberries and 2 tablespoons Campari until slushy. Divide among 4 glasses; garnish with lemon slices.
¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!
Come 5:00, we all know what time it is: time for a cocktail. But this past month more than ever, users are extra thirsty and looking for a good drink recipe. According to Yahoo Trend Expert Lauren Whitehouse, cocktail recipe searches have been spiking off the charts since March, and the top 10 favored searches include White Russian, Margarita, Sangria and Moscow Mule. So now that you know what your equals are craving, get to it! Here are some recipes to get you started:
It’s officially mango season, and we couldn’t be happier! Not only are mangoes super healthy (they’re jam-packed with nutrients like beta-carotene and vitamin C, just to name a few!) and ever-so versatile (chile-rubbed mangoes? mango slaw?), they also make the perfect natural sweetener to a number of boozy (or virgin!) beverages. Check out some of our top picks below, and get blending!
Keep these Mango-Ginger Mocktails virgin, or replace the ginger ale with ginger beer!
In our May issue, we explore tequila’s rival sibling, mezcal, a smoky, slow-roasted, double-distilled liquor also made from the agave plant. We tasted tons of mezcal cocktails from the country’s best bartenders and adapted two favorites–plus created one of our own! Go behind the scenes and explore our mezcal cocktail-making process. Then, get our fabulous cocktail recipe that was the result of one tasty testing session. ¡Salud!
Test Kitchen Associate, Charles Grayauskie and Test Kitchen Director, Janet McCracken doing some delicious research.
Lots of different ingredients go into making the perfect cocktail! The green Vida bottle (left) is actually many bartenders’ go-to mezcal: easy to find across the country and very easy to drink.
Pouring up Old Major’s La Rosa Bonita
From our test kitchen, The Smokin’ Dog–our own riff on the Greyhound!
6 oz. fresh grapefruit juice (pink or yellow)
1 oz. mezcal
Splash of club soda
1 grapefruit twist
Fill a rocks glass with ice, then add grapefruit juice and mezcal. Stir to blend; top with a splash of club soda. Garnish with the grapefruit twist. Makes 1.