This drink is inspired from my hey days lounging with some girl friends at a local jazz club in San Francisco's Upper Haight neighborhood, namely, Club Deluxe. This was post college, so imagine my reaction when I heard of the club's name, which brought me back to those college clubbing days when girls don their skimpiest outfits and wait in lines that snake around the block only to have their buns freezing for hours before entering a dirty dark nightclub where the music is being blasted so loud that you can never expect to hold a decent conversation, much less get a decent drink that doesn't taste like watered-down cough syrup.
On the contrary, Club Deluxe is a neighborhood jazz lounge where you can sway to the rhythm of soothing live jazz music from local artists, and nosh on artisanal pizzas, all while sipping a highball glass of their house-crafted Spa Collins, a refreshing libation oozing with the spicy sweetness of ginger syrup, the cooling flavors of fresh cucumbers, the tartness of lime, and an herbal infusion of freshly muddled mint sprigs. While I haven't been back in quite some time and frankly, never really knew the actual makeup of this drink, my tastebuds can still recall the flavors so vividly. So, when my good friend and purveyor of meyer lemons decided to pay me a visit this past week, I couldn't resist the urge to share it with you. My version is aptly named the Meyer Collins, and it's my tribute to this season of abundant citrus. Cheers!
Meyer Collins Mocktail
Inspired by the Spa Collins of Club Deluxe, San Francisco
|• 12 fresh mint leaves|
|• 2 tbs ginger simple syrup (recipe below)|
|• 1.5 oz or 1 shot glass fresh meyer lemon juice|
|• 1.5 oz or 1 shot glass fresh orange juice|
|• 3 slices cucumber|
|• Club soda or sparkling water|
|• Ice, cubed & crushed|
|• Garnish with extra cucumber slice, mint sprig, and/or lemon wedge|
1. Muddle mint leaves and cucumber slices in the bottom of a glass.
2. Fill 2 glasses with ice cubes and add in meyer lemon juice, orange juice, and 1 tbs ginger simple syrup.
3. Stir gently, and top it off with a splash of sparkling water or club soda. Now, layer on the crushed ice and another 1 tbs of the ginger simple syrup.
4. Garnish with fresh mint sprig, cucumber slice, or lemon wedge and you're all set! Enjoy!
|Ginger Simple Syrup Ingredients|
|• 1/2 cup water|
|• 1/2 cup granulated sugar|
|• 1 tbs ginger, peeled & chopped|
1. In a small sauce pan, stir together the water and sugar and bring to a boil under medium high heat.
2. Once sugar dissolves, remove from heat and mix in the ginger. Allow ginger to steep in syrup for 10-15 minutes.
3. Strain out the ginger, and allow syrup to cool to room temperature. Transfer to a glass container and store in the fridge.