Long and Languid: Exploring the Intricacies of the Rickey, Fizz and Collins
Not all bubbles are created equal - here are a few ways to mix up a refreshing summer drink.
As we move into the warmer months away from the style of drinks that warm us up from the inside out (we’re looking at you, whisky sour) the demand for something effervescent and refreshing, to be sipped on patios, picnic blankets and poolside, increases in volume. With fizzing, cold glass in hand, it’s high time we considered why this style of drink is so damn delicious. Not all bubbles are created equal, though, but a composition of spirit, citrus and bubbles are the constants. Dive deep with us into four of our favourites:
The Rickey, an almost ubiquitous serve of spirit, soda and lime, is also the state cocktail of Washington D.C. Courtesy of an American politician, one Joe Rickey, who was known to consume these on the regular in the late 1880s. Originally the Rickey used rye whiskey (and probably lemon juice), the drink would eventually denote a tall beverage with lime juice and soda.
This one is lovely, built in a wine glass, filled with lots of ice. Start with freshly squeezed lime - I’d go for a healthy half - resulting in about 30ml of juice, and throw the shell in for garnish. Some like to add sugar, but that’s entirely a matter of personal taste – add it if you feel necessary. Being generous with the gin helps too (I'd recommend 60ml here - something assertive like our Distiller’s Strength Gin works a treat.) Top with soda and give it a good stir.
The history behind The Collins has healthy conjecture. Should the base spirit be sweetened Old Tom? Perhaps. Genever? Debatable. Refreshing – most certainly. Often considered to be a grown-up lemonade - it’s known to be the favourite drink of our National Brand Ambassador (and sometimes grown up), Nigel Weisbaum.
The Tom Collins – (the most famous of the brethren) – is comprised of our simple sour formula: 2 parts Signature Dry Gin (60ml), 1 part sour (here we’re using lemon - 30ml) to one of sweet (30ml of sugar syrup, mixed in a 1:1 ratio with water), build over ice with 3 parts club soda in a tall glass and garnish with a lemon wedge and cherry (use a fresh one – none of that neon glow for me thanks…)
Here’s where things get interesting, with eggs for frothy texture and the flair of the cocktail shaker.
Our go-to ratio of strong (60ml), sour (30ml) and sweet (30ml) is shaken and then there are several options to personalise it:
Silver Fizz – just egg white. Staying golden? Use the yolk. Feeling adventurous - add the whole thing for a Royal Fizz. Feeling lush – top a Silver Fizz with Champagne for a Diamond Fizz. Add cream to your egg white and a few dashes of orange flower and you’re on your way to a Ramos. For the egg adverse – aquafaba (cooked chickpea water) can be used to create the luscious mouthfeel required here.
A few technical points – a fizz is served sans ice, and in a much smaller glass (a Champagne flute is great here) and intended as a restorative beverage. Purists may insist carbonation should be dispensed from soda syphon for finer bubbles – but the main thing is it should be as cold as possible. It’s nice to add a small amount of carbonation to the glass before adding the shaken mixture (it should puff elegantly) for a theatrical flourish.
Lastly, it’s time for us to consider an effervescent elixir gaining popularity today - The Spritz. Few know that the origins of the drink stem back to Hippocrates himself - who often took his wine with water, a practice which would eventually turn carbonated with the advent of the soda syphon. We’ve compiled a list of a few of our favourites here - and are certain it’s going to be the drink of summer! Glass now in hand, you’ll find me on the balcony.