I don’t like cocktails, but I’ll always have a soft spot for a nice cold glass of Tom Collins.
The cocktail, long reviled by “purist alcoholics” like myself who prefer to drink stuff straight, has long been polluted by all sorts of concoctions created by college boarders trying to make alcoholic alchemy out of all sorts of drinks and ingredients. I draw the line at Red Horse mixed with rum and Sprite and grape juice, but there are those memories of tequila “mixes” and bubblegum-flavored lambanog that I still hang on to as promises to quit drinking heavily.
Then there’s the Tom Collins: it goes down smooth, it has a nice taste, and you won’t screw it up no matter how drunk and wasted you are and you’re still forced to make drinks. Best of all, it’s made with my favorite hard liquor: gin.
That picture was taken at a Chili’s somewhere, but I prefer making my own.
Here’s my “formula” for a Tom Collins on the rocks:
- Two parts gin. I almost always use Ginebra San Miguel because it’s cheap, easy to mix, and tastes pretty damn good. As much as I crush on Anne Curtis, GSM Blue is something you should never make a Tom Collins with. Ever.
- Lemon juice. I try to use fresh lemons as much as I can. In a pinch, kalamansi works well. The key is to give some tartness to the gin; half a part will do. Bottled lemon mixers are for wimps, and lemon juice powder is for idiots.
- Sprite. As far as clear sodas go, Sprite works for me because it’s already sweetened to taste. Tom Collins should be prepared with syrup, but I don’t like granules, and I don’t like preparing syrup. If you want to add syrup, it’s great. Or you can try honey.
- Tonic water. Schweppes, or if you wanna go a bit overboard without getting yourself too drunk, Schnapps.
Mix them all together with ice, and poof! Tom Collins. What I like about this drink is that it’s so easy to make, you can’t possibly screw it up. It tastes good too. The Tom Collins can form the basis for many other Frankenstein cocktails that you’ll really want to stock up on for Christmas booze, but I’m getting way too ahead of myself.
I’ll have more drinking stuff for you in the next few days.