Drink Me – The Perfect Summer Cocktail

Now I love wines and wine tastings, but this economy has put a bit of a dent in my wine purchasing of late.  (Did I mention that I’m a rather fast drinker?).  Husband is, and always has been, a cocktail man.  Thus, he’s also a damn good bartender.  He is a firm believer in fresh juices, simple syrups, and appropriate condiments (pearl onions, cucumbers, mint, etc.) and a staunch nay-sayer of anything what screams “mixer”.

And much like I like to keep a few bottles of wines around for when guests are over, so my husband likes to keep the fixings for his favorite standard:  The Collins.  Easy and versatile, this delicious quaff is incredibly affordable AND simple to make.  Easy as you need so few ingredients; versatile because you can go beyond the gin and vodka collins and offer your friends bourbon collins, rum collins, tequila collins….You get the picture.

Step 1.  Purchase a very inexpensive bottom-shelf bottle of gin, vodka, what beckons you.  I don’t recommend the VERY bottom of the shelf, but any of those imbibements in the -18 price range are gonna do just fine for mixing.  At those prices, you could get three or four spirits. Your guests – and you – have options!

Step 2.  Make the simple syrup.  Simply boil 1 cup water in a small saucepan; when it comes to a boil add 1 cup sugar; stir until all the sugar is dissolved; turn off stove; let cool.  Voila!  So Easy!

Step 3.  Juicing some lemons.  This next step does require a bit of equipment – a juicer.  Now, Husband’s choice of juicers is definitely a higher end one (don’t even ask what it cost!).  And this juicer is great for juicing a lot of lemons or limes (or orange juice) at a time to keep in the fridge.  But for cocktails on the go (read: to order), the standard hand juicer does just fine.  The number of guests you are expecting will help to determine how many lemons you should juice.  Be sure and shop around a bit, though, and find the best price!  Citrus can be expensive.  (You’ll only use a tablespoon per drink, if this helps with the spending money on lemons).

Fill a collins glass with ice

Add 2 ounces gin/vodka/bourbon/whathaveyou

Add 1 Tablespoon simple syrup

Add 1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

Top off with soda water, stir (I use a chopstick), and serve.

You can toast me somewhere between the second or third sip!


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