Tag Archives: gin

Rosemary Collins

This is part of my Weekend Classics series of recipes that use entirely classic cocktail ingredients/methodology.

Spring is in the air. Or at least it was for like a week. Now it’s snowing again. But I’m all about mind over matter, so this week’s classic cocktail is going to be something light and airy because, let’s be honest, we all can use it after the winter we just suffered through. So put on your Bermuda shorts and crank your thermostat to 85 and get ready for this week’s classic cocktail.

One of my favorite drinks for when it’s patio season is the Tom Collins. It’s simple, elegant, and delicious. It’s just a boozy lemonade with bubbles. It simultaneously satisfies your inner child and the grownup who’s got his mind on the impending tax season.

The basic recipe is as simple as it gets when cocktailing.

Tom Collins

1.5 oz. gin (I like Plymouth, but any good gin will work)

1 oz. lemon juice

0.5 oz simple syrup (1:1)

Shake and strain into a Collins glass filled with ice and top with soda (roughly 4 oz.) and give it a very brief stir. Garnish with a lemon wheel. I like to serve it with a straw, because I don’t want to stir the bubbles away, but if you don’t you end up drinking all soda followed by all booze.

While I haven’t had the chance to do it yet, this would also be a perfect cocktail for a modernist version. I’d just clarify the lemon juice, mix it up with water instead of soda, and chill and force carbonate and serve in a bottle. That’d be easy and get you both a bubblier finish and good mixing. (One of my earliest attempts at modernist mixology was force carbonating the variation I’m showing below, but I did not yet know how to clarify lemon so it foamed out, though even still it was better than with soda.)

This week I decided to try a very simple variation: the Rosemary Collins. It’s the exact same as above, except you use rosemary simple instead of plain. And you garnish with a rosemary sprig because even though that’s so played out in New York the rest of the country still hasn’t seen it. If you live in Manhattan maybe use a pinecone instead or something.

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Here’s my recipe. The first two steps, blanching and shocking, should always be done when you’re going to heat anything green to prevent it from turning brown. This same process will work for any herb, though you may need to mess with the ratios a bit.

Rosemary Simple Syrup

100 grams sugar

100 grams water

25 grams rosemary

1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. While it heats, fill a container with ice water.

2. With a long pair of tongs, hold the rosemary in the boiling water for 30 seconds, keeping it fully submerged. When the 30 seconds is up, plunge it in the ice bath. Let it sit there until cold.

3. Add the water, sugar, and rosemary to a small pot. Place over high heat. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat off.

4. Let the rosemary steep in the simple syrup until they cool to room temperature. Then strain the simple to get rid of any loose rosemary.

Clarified Gin and Juice

This is part of my series of recipes from Liquid Intelligence. I’m going to make all of them, which you can see here.

One of Dave Arnold’s recipes I’ve been making for awhile is the Gin and Juice. I was able to find videos of it on the web, and piece together the process from his podcast. But there’s a recipe for it in Liquid Intelligence so I thought I’d make it for my family Christmas party. Apologies in advance for my worse-than-usual photography, but I was batching two cocktails and getting ready for a party.

This recipe isn’t particularly difficult, and is a great introduction to clarification. You can do it a few ways. If you don’t care about yield and just want a fast, easy product, you can use Pectinex/Chitosan/Keiselsol clarification (more on that later) and just wait a few hours for the solids to separate. Your yield is relatively low though without a centrifuge, on the order of 50-75%.

If you don’t mind waiting a bit longer, agar clarification is the way to go. That’s what Dave recommends, so for this post that’s what I did. It’s not that much more labor than the Pectinex/fining I mentioned, and the yield is much higher. I think I got over 90%. You’ll see my picture of the solids raft left at the end, that was all that didn’t make it, and some of that was agar.

Here’s the process:

Step 1: Juice the grapefruit.

I can’t remember how many I used, but it was most of a bag from Sam’s Club. (Sorry, I’m in Akron, we don’t have Costco yet.) I ended up with about a liter and a half.

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Step 2: Hydrate the agar

Divide the grapefruit, 75% in one batch (assuming it’s room temperature) that you’ll set aside, and 25% in another, that you’ll put into a pan. In my case,  I set 1.1 liters aside, and put 400 liters in the pan.

Measure out agar to 2g per liter, so in this case I used 3g. (I use Telephone brand packets. I ran out of this packet and had to go to the Asian market, all for 0.4 grams!)

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Whisk it vigorously into the small portion of juice. Place the pan on the stove, turn the heat to high and let it come to a boil, whisking frequently.

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When it boils, put a lid on the pan, drop the heat, and let it simmer for a few minutes.

Step 3: Temper the juice and set.

Pour the room temperature juice into the hot stuff, stirring vigorously. You want to avoid the mix gelling at all, which might happen if you did it the other way around, or didn’t boil enough of the juice.

Pour into a bowl and set over an ice bath to chill. Don’t agitate it at all. No stirring. Just wait for it to gel all the way through.

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Step 4: Freeze

Place the bowl into the freezer, and let sit overnight.

Step 5: Thaw

Place the frozen brick of agar in a strainer and let the liquid drip through. It starts off like this:


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and ends like this:

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Step 6: Filter

I ran what was left of the juice through a Chemex to suck up a little bit of particulate matter that got through.

Step 7: Mix ingredients and chill

I mixed up enough of Dave’s recipe to make about 1.65 liters, since I was carbonating in a 2 liter bottle. That worked out to a batch of ten. The recipe is:

590ml gin

800ml agar-clarified grapefruit juice

220ml water

40ml simple syrup

20 drops saline solution

I funneled them all into a 2 liter bottle, and put the bottle in the freezer. I shook it every 15 minutes or so, so it would chill evenly, and had to be careful to pull it out before it froze (the ABV is low enough that I think it would).

When it was ice cold, I carbonated with my homebrew rig.

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Step 8: Play Snoop Dogg on radio and pour into champagne flute

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Make sure to have your mind on your money, and your money on your mind.