Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sage Tom Collins

I recently started using gin as my spirit of choice in cocktails. It really came out of the blue, but once I realized it did not taste like Christmas trees I was into it.

The Tom Collins is a classic gin cocktail made with lemon juice, sugar, and club soda. It's great for a summer sipper, but I wanted a fall version. The obvious solution: herb it up. P.S. I've totally made a bootleg tailgating version with Publix lemonade. Don't judge me.

Instead of just plain superfine sugar, I made a sage simple syrup to sweeten and herbify my drink. The result was a sweet and tart cocktail with a lovely floral note from the gin. Keep in mind, I'm sooo not a mixologist, but I can make a tasty drink.

BTW- Remember when I told you I was doing the Color Me Rad 5k? Well I did it! My sister and I were covered in color. Which is totally the point. Then we inhaled a bagel.

It really made me feel good about myself, since I've never done an actual 5k before. Check to see if there's one near you! It's not timed; it's a fun run if ever there was one.

Later that day I met up with some of my dear friends at SC Pride. The headliner was Chad Michaels from Ru Paul's Drag Race (Actually if memory serves me Sheena Easton might've been the actual headliner). I'd never seen her perform, but I'm down for anyone that does a good Cher. The show did not disappoint, and I got a souvenir cup out of the deal. Win-win in my book.

Back to the drink. You'll need: your favorite gin, club soda, water, sage leaves, lemons, and sugar.

Simple syrup is so easy to make. I mean, duh, they don't call it difficult syrup. It's one of those things you should keep around if you like to make cocktails. Simply combine equal parts water and sugar, a 2-inch lemon peel, and two or three sage leaves in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. I think it's good to let the sage leaves steep another 3 minutes off the heat.

Strain out the sage leaves and lemon peel. Add about 2 tablespoons (give or take, depending on your desired level of sweetness) to a glass filled with ice. Squeeze in the juice from 1 1/2 lemons.

Now add the good stuff-- gin. I used about an ounce since I'm using a small glass. I know a Tom Collins is more often served in a tall glass, but I like the feel of a smaller glass. Plus I just didn't want a huge drink.

Top off with a splash of club soda for a little effervescence. I love that word.

I think a pretty lemon garnish adds a nice touch. I'm really in love with the subtle sage flavor against the gin. It might be my new go-to cocktail.

Sage Tom Collins (makes 1 cocktail)

2 tbs sage simple syrup (recipe follows)
Juice from 1 1/2 lemons
1 oz gin
Club soda
Lemon slice for garnish
  • In a tumbler filled with ice, pour in the simple syrup. Add the lemon juice and gin. Top with club soda and stir. Garnish with a lemon slice.
Sage Simple Syrup (makes about 1/4 cup)

1/4 c sugar
1/4 c water
2-3 sage leaves
1 (2-inch) lemon peel
  • In a small saucepan, combine sugar, water, sage leaves, and lemon peel. Stir and cook over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let the sage leaves steep 3-4 more minutes.

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