“Let me not die while I am still alive. ”
The Cocktails of James Bond: The Collins
When James Bond travels to the Bahamas, he drops in at the oceanfront estate of the sinister Emilio Largo, who offers him an afternoon of skeet shooting, a grand tour of his shark-filled saltwater pool and a refreshing Rum Collins. Why not the more traditional Tom Collins–and why is that gin-based drink absent from Bond films? One reason may simply be that James Bond was well known for enjoying cocktails that suit the occasion, and I can’t think of anything more appropriate or appealing than drinking rum in the Caribbean. But there might be another explanation. In the time of Ian Fleming, gin was all the rage in London. In fact, it is still so identified with London that the most popular style of gin is known as ”London Dry.” Perhaps James Bond was simply boycotting the norm. The Collins is the essential balance of sour and sweet and many people consider it the perfect gin cocktail. Bartenders today know a Collins by its two oversimplified ingredients: sour mix and club soda. But the true cocktail enthusiast will create the Collins with only natural ingredients. Using real citrus juices and simple syrup will not only give you a more natural and refreshing drink; it will also enable you to control the balance of sour versus sweet flavors. This is true whether you use gin or rum, but you might conclude that the herbal qualities of gin are particularly suitable for the citrus qualities of the Collins. Drinkers of the gin and tonic may find the Tom Collins to be a refreshing alternative.
PREPARING THE COLLINS
1. Fill a tall Collins glass with ice.
2. Add 1.5 ounces of gin (or rum for a Rum Collins).
3. Into the glass, squeeze the juice of one medium-sized lemon and one lime. (The juice can also be squeezed in advance.)
4. Add about half an ounce of simple syrup.
5. Top with club soda or seltzer.
6. Garnish with lemon.