Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 11 a.m.
The refreshing John Collins, or Tom, depending on who you ask
"I'm ready for spring. I want flowers," says Marco Zappia, the charismatic barman from Eat Street Social and Bittercube Bitters who is standing in this week for a vacationing Shawn Jones of Coup d'Etat
. Zappia produces an opaque bottle of Solveig gin
and offers us a whiff. The light, aromatic perfume of herbs like thyme and lavender is nothing like the dense juniper and pine flavors that some other gins are known to possess. He then walks us through how to craft the perfect Tom Collins, a drink that to him signifies warmer, longer days.
Marco Zappia at Eat Street Social
"The Tom Collins was originally called the John Collins," says Zappia. The drink dates back to the 1700s, when it was likely created in an English hotel. It didn't rise to fame until a playwright took a shine to the drink and wrote it into one of his works, popularizing the slightly sweet mix of gin, citrus, and carbonated water.
The John Collins then made its way to America in the 1850s, where, as Zappia says, "Americans did what we do. We did whatever we want with it. We played telephone and John became Tom."
He goes on to explain, "It's a fizz, gin, lemon juice, and seltzer. It's believed the first French 75 was originally served in a Collins glass at the Astoria in London. The only difference between the two is that a French 75 is topped with cava."
The resulting cocktail is simple to prepare and incredibly refreshing. We love it mixed with a lighter (rather than meatier) gin.
.75oz Simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar)
2 oz Seltzer water
Instruction: Combine in cocktail shaker. Short shake, add seltzer to tin, double strain into Collins glass.
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