Hop On, Hop Off
2 oz Rye Whiskey [Rittenhouse]
3/4 oz Grapefruit Liqueur [Giffard]
1/4 oz Hopped Elderflower Collins Syrup [Bittermilk]
Few dashes Hopped Grapefruit Bitters [Bittermens]
Stir with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with hop flowers.
I’ve already talked about my love for tonic syrups, which can really take your G&T game to the next level. Well the fun doesn’t stop there. There are also syrups for other drinks, including the Tom Collins (aka G&T’s cousin). Like this Hopped Elderflower number from Bittermilk. It’s the same idea. Grab some gin, citrus of your choice, and club soda, then combine all that with the syrup over ice. Give a quick stir and your in for a real Collins treat. But just cuz it’s labeled a Collins syrup, doesn’t mean you should only use it in a Collins.
The great thing about these syrups is they pack in so much flavor, they can be an ingredient in their own right for any kind of cocktail. To wit, I decided to combine this syrup with rye whiskey and grapefruit liquer, and the result was just as good, albeit totally different, than the aforementioned Collins.
The Hop On, Hop Off starts off with a very strong citrus and elderflower nose. The grapefruit and hops also make for a lovely combo. Rye doesn’t really start showing itself until the sip, where it warms everything up, as its spiciness accentuates the bitter hops. More citrus comes through, as well as some botanicals from the grapefruit liqueur. The finish is sweet, but only for a moment, as the punch of whiskey, citrus, and hops returns to usher things to the end.
If delicious long drinks weren’t reason enough to start picking up cocktail syrups, maybe proper drinks can convince you. There are a number of reputable producers to choose from – Bittermilk, Liber and Co, Jack Rudy – just to name a few (and that’s only focusing on the long drink category). Find a flavor that speaks to go and see how many ways you can use it.