Thursday, June 7, 2012

tom terrific

1 3/4 oz Hayman's Old Tom Gin
1/2 oz Cherry Herring
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a Collins glass containing ice cubes. Top with 2-3 oz Great Divide's Titan IPA, garnish with an orange slice and a cherry, and add a straw.

On Memorial Day after a cookout, I decided to set out on the town to see what was open. My adventure began at the new Park Restaurant in Harvard Square, and the drink that called out to me was the Tom Terrific. While Chris Balchum made my drink, I asked bartender Daren Swisher about the recipe. I started by asking about the beer choice since I had just heard Daren give a talk on beer along with TJ Curley's Kevin Mabry at a Boston Bartenders Collaborative meeting. Daren explained that he wanted a West Coast style of beer, and it originally was Green Flash's IPA before he switched to Great Divide's. In addition, the question served as a good avenue to get Daren talking about this riff on the Tom Collins which turned out to be a tribute to Patriot's quarterback Tom "Terrific" Brady. The beer choice represented Tom's home state of California where he grew up. Since Brady played college football in Michigan, Daren thought of the state's obsession with the cherry and opted for Cherry Heering liqueur. The earlier version of the drink included Myer lemon and black strap molasses which were later switched to regular lemon and simple syrup; however, there was no mention if the juice or the garnish somehow related to Brady's wins in the Citrus and Orange Bowls during college.

The cherry and orange slice garnish contributed greatly to the drink's aroma along with the IPA's hops. On the sip, the beer's malt and carbonation paired well with the lemon juice. Next, the liqueur's cherry and gin's juniper appeared on the swallow that ended dryly from the hops notes. Moreover, I was impressed at how well the hops complemented the gin -- an observation I first noted when I made a beer-laden French 75 variation for Mixology Monday.

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