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Author Notes: I saw a picture on Pinterest that looked intriguing. The Tom Collins has a very long history in the bar scene, the recipe for this beverage first appearing in print 1896 by Jerry Thomas. This drink is more or less a glorified lemonade and the modern version includes a garnish of maraschino cherry.
My version is based on the Pinterest photograph of a cucumber Collins. Grapes and rosemary add a sweet and savory note in this variation of a classic. This drink would be a great addition to any party or celebration as a signature cocktail. It can be made ahead and the recipe may be doubled or tripled. —gr8chefmb
Makes 8 drinks
pounds Seedless red grapes, stems removed
pounds Seedless green grapes, stems removed
Cucumbers, peeled and ends trimmed
cups Demara [raw] sugar
sprig Fresh rosemary
cup Fresh squeezed lemon juice
liter Soda or tonic water
- Wash 1 pound of red grapes and drain on paper towel-lined rimmed baking sheet; pat grapes dry and remove paper towel. Place grapes, arranged in a single layer, in freezer and freeze until solid (approximately 2-3 hours).
- Rinse the remaining grapes and process, in batches if necessary, in blender or food processor until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl, using a rubber spatula to push juices through. Roughly dice 2-1/2 cucumbers and process in the same manner as the grapes. Discard solids.
- Measure grape cucumber juice, adding water if necessary, to equal 2 cups. Place juice in a 2-quart saucepan along with sugar and rosemary. Place over medium high heat and bring to boil, whisking constantly to dissolve sugar. Once sugar is dissolved, remove pan from heat and allow syrup to cool to room temperature. Remove and discard rosemary. In a large pitcher, stir together syrup, gin and lemon juice. Cut remaining cucumber into 1/4-inch rounds.
- To serve, place 3-4 frozen grapes in bottom of a 12-ounce collins glass, add 1/4 cup of juice-gin mixture, top off with soda or tonic water and stir; garnish with a cucumber slice. Serve immediately.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Grapes