PROFITING WITH COLLINS AND SOURS

The Collins has remained a popular style of drink since its inception in the late 19th century during what is generally acknowledged as the golden age of mixology. Like tax refunds and color TV, there’s nothing not to like about it. A Collins is a tall iced drink made with your favorite spirit, Finest Call Collins Mix and finely charged carbonation.

Equally enduring is the Sour, a classic style of drink that best exemplifies that simplicity is often the most elegant form of beauty. Sours require nothing more than for your guest to choose what spirit or liqueur they’d like showcased in the drink.

The Collins and Sours both rank high among of specialties. So if you’re entertaining the notion of promoting either of these incomparable drinks—which by the way is an excellent idea—you’re come to the right place. —RP


COLLINS AND SOUR DRINKS AT A GLANCE

• DIFFICULTY OF PREPARATION: 4.6 OUT OF 10 — The little preparation involved making these drinks is not difficult or time-consuming. Collins drinks are hand-shaken, strained into a tall iced glass and finished with seltzer or club soda. That’s it.

Sours are prepared and served in one of 3 ways. The traditional approach is handshaking the drink and serving straight up it in a chilled cocktail (or sour) glass. Another popular way to enjoy a Sour is on the rocks, in which case the ingredients are hand-shaken and strained it into iced tumbler. Add a cherry and an orange slice and the drink is done. The third option is to blend the drink with ice and serve cold and slushy.

[Scale 1– 10: A drink with a value of 5.0 or lower means it can easily be prepared in one’s sleep, while a rating closer to 10 indicates that it takes several days to prepare and requires an advanced degree.]


• UP-SELLING POTENTIAL: 8.7 OUT OF 10 — Today most consumers understand that ordering a Collins and Sour with premium spirits yields better results than using less expensive, lower quality brands. That awareness makes recommending guests choose a top-shelf brand for these drinks relatively easy.

[Scale 1– 10: A drink with an up-selling potential of 5.0 or higher means it’s a financial thoroughbred, a cocktail tailor-made for top-shelf spirits. A rating below 5 signifies a drink in which the brand of spirits used are of secondary importance compared to the overall effect looking to be achieved.]


• ALCOHOL POTENCY: The Collins is served in a tall glass with ice, so it is inherently less potent than its Sour counterpart. In addition, the Collins is further diluted with club soda, resulting in a likely mix to liquor ratio of about 8:1.

When hand-shaken with ice and served straight up as a cocktail, the Sour has a mix to liquor ratio of about 3:1. Served over ice the alcohol concentration in a Sour drops to about 6:1, whereas when blended with ice, the potency lowers to about that of a Collins.

[As a general rule, 1 1/4-ounces of distilled spirits is equal in alcohol to 4-ounces of wine and 10-ounces of beer.]


• PORTIONING CONSIDERATIONS: Collins and Sour drinks are typically prepared with no more than 2 ounces of alcohol—spirits and liqueurs—and up to 5 ounces of various alcohol-free ingredients. Proportions typically range between 1 part alcohol to 2-4 parts mix. When devising a one of these drinks, be conservative with the amount of alcohol used. Making the drink stronger then involves no more than a minor flick of the wrist. However, if you use too much alcohol relative to the size of the glass the drink is not as easily fixed.


• SEASONAL ORIENTATION AND TRADE PERIOD: Toasty warm cocoa drinks were once considered only cold weather fare. The proliferation of cafes and coffee houses around the country has dramatically changed our perception of the marketability of hot drinks. Although all-seasons appropriate, if it’s sweltering outside you may want to recommend these drink be served over ice. There are times when cold and delicious trumps hot and delicious.

Like lacing a milkshake with some brandy, Chambord and Kahlúa, hot cocoa libations are dessert-like and therefore primarily served after dinner or as a nightcap.


• SEASONAL ORIENTATION — These drinks do have a seasonal bias. The Collins is tall and eminently refreshing, ideally suited for the summer months. Thirst is a serious motivator and when your parched guests come to you looking for relief, the Collins should be on the short list of what to serve.

On the other hand, when winter grabs hold and people are forced to brave Arctic winds and frozen extremities to get to your front door, the ever-popular, no-nonsense Sour is an appropriate bracer.

To repeat, if the sun is shining and there are dandelions in the yard, then it’s the right season for promoting the Collins. However, if the water pipes are frozen and your car is stuck in snow, the more appropriate drink to promote is a Sour.

As for time of day, the Collins comes out to play during the daylight hours beginning around brunch, into the afternoon and through the better part of the cocktail hour. As the Collins winds down its day, the night is just getting started for the Sour and its many legions of admirers.


• GLASSWARE OPTIONS: Serving a Collins in a plain, nondescript glass is like displaying a magnificent painting in a cardboard frame. These tall attractive drinks are invariably served with ice and deserve to be presented in a tall, good looking glass. The glass you choose should be have minimum capacity of 12-14 ounces, although those with 16-ounce capacities offer more latitude when it comes to garnishing and adding a few creative twists.

Sours traditionally were served straight up and presented in a style of stemmed glassware called a Delmonico or Sour glass, each being 4 1/2 to 6-ounces in capacity. Now it’s relatively common for Sours served straight up to be presented in a stemmed cocktail glass of roughly the same size.


• ALCOHOL-FREE OPTIONS: 5.4 OUT OF 10 — An enticing alcohol-free Sour and Collin is only moments away with a bottle of Finest Call Collins Mix and Finest Call Sweet & Sour on-hand. The mixes are delicious blended with ice cream, fruit purees or various types of tropical juices. They also pair well with flavored syrups and many of the other prominent drink mixes in the Finest Call portfolio.

[Scale: The rating of 5.4 out of 10 indicates that alcohol-free variations of Sours and Collins drinks are plentiful and easily crafted.]


CREATING MAGIC WITH COLLINS AND SOUR DRINKS

All other things being equal, what distinguishes one Sour or Collins from the next is the quality and vivaciousness of the mix used creating them. You can make these drinks using the same brand of vodka or whiskey and those prepared with a premium mix will clearly outshine the others.

At Finest Call, we’ve developed a range of products designed to help your inner bartender shake up some magic behind the bar.


• FINEST CALL TOM COLLINS MIX — There’s something tantalizing about a drink mix that can deftly deliver lip-smacking, mouth-puckering flavor and do it with style and class. Such is the case with FINEST CALL TOM COLLINS MIX. It’s a premium blend of lemon, lime and grapefruit juice with the look of freshly squeezed juice, a wafting citrus bouquet and a crisp flavorful finish. This is exactly what the foundering fathers of mixology had in mind.

The following recipes call for a healthy measure of Finest Call Tom Collins Mix.

Collins

Doubleberry Collins

Jackie Ohranje Collins

Jamie Limón Collins

Plaid Collins

Riviera Collins


• FINEST CALL SWEET & SOUR MIX — There are more drinks in the lexicon of American mixology made with a lemon-forward sweet & sour than all other drink mixes combined. FINEST CALL SWEET & SOUR MIX is a blend of all-natural lemon, orange and lime extracts. Sweeteners are added to throttle back some of the citrus exuberance, resulting in a delectably flavorful drink mix.

Its naturally tart character provides the all-important foundation for the following Sour drink recipes.

Sour

Irish Raspberry Sour

Smooth & Sour

Sour Melon Patch

Sparkling Apple Sour

Twisted Pisco Sour


• FINEST CALL DRINK INGREDIENTS — We’ve made it our business to develop the finest, highest quality drink ingredients possible. As a result, our products have tremendous versatility. For instance, the SPARKLING APPLE SOUR gets much of its identity from a dose of Finest Call Sour Apple Martini Mix. Other recipes calling for a flavorful splash or two include:

Jackie Ohranje Collins (Finest Call Triple Sec)

Sour Melon Patch (Finest Call Mai Tai Mix)

Sparkling Apple Sour (Finest Call Sour Apple Martini Mix)


• FINEST CALL FRUIT PUREES — Created to deliver a concentrated blast of fresh fruit flavor, Finest Call Fruit Purees are indispensable behind the bar. In this category, for instance, the IRISH RASPBERRY SOUR is a sensational drink made with Irish Whiskey, Chambord, Finest Call Sweet & Sour and most notably Finest Call Raspberry Puree.

Our purees are made entirely of premium varieties of fruit picked at their peak ripeness. Having done nature one better, shelf-stable fruit purees allow you to fully deliver on the promise of fresh without the attendant hassles.

Finest Call’s unbeatable range of premium purees includes FINEST CALL RASPBERRY PUREE, FINEST CALL STRAWBERRY PUREE, FINEST CALL BANANA PUREE, FINEST CALL MANGO PUREE, FINEST CALL PEACH PUREE and FINEST CALL PASSION FRUIT PUREE.


• FINEST CALL PREMIUM FLAVORED SYRUPS — Sometimes a splash or two of flavor is all that’s necessary to propel a drink into the extraordinary range. To that end, we’ve created a line of flavored syrups developed specifically for use in cocktails and drinks. The DOUBLEBERRY COLLINS is an illustration of a drink that gets a marvelous flavor boost from Finest Call Huckleberry Syrup.


COLLINS AND SOURS — TIPS FOR PROS

The Sour has been the source of inspiration for scores of other cocktails. The Daiquiri is essentially a Sour made with light rum, while the Margarita can accurately be described as a tequila Sour with an added splash of triple sec or Cointreau. Likewise, the Sidecar is a brandy Sour modified by triple sec or Cointreau. Interestingly enough, a hand-shaken Bourbon Sour strained into a tall iced glass finished with soda is a John Collins. Such is the genetic link between the Sour and Collins.

There are several classic versions of the Collins that also deserve mention. Our Tom Collins Mix takes its name from the original drink made with a base of gin. Not long after it debuted a bourbon version became all the rage called the John Collins. After that, numerous incarnations of the drink came onto the scene, namely the Pierre Collins (made with Cognac), the Mike (or Joe) Collins (made with Irish whiskey), Pedro Collins (made with light rum) and the Vodka Collins.

One explanation for their popularity longevity is Sours and Collins exist without creative constraints. They’re accommodating and versatile; swell drinks to showcase at your next soiree.


• CREATIVE SOUR OPTIONS While there are several classic versions of the Sour, the most famous is certainly the STONE STONE. They’re prepared by using equal parts of orange juice and Finest Call Sweet & Sour, instead of the sweet & sour alone. Proven favorites include the Midori Stone Sour and Amaretto Stone Sour.


• SUMMERTIME COLLINS — In addition to tasting great, Collins drinks slake thirst like nobody’s business. One snazzy summertime option is to prepare the drink with equal part of iced tea and Collins mixer. Adding a fruit flavored syrup to the lemon-forward Collins yields delicious results. An excellent example being the boost Finest Call Huckleberry Syrup gives to the DOUBLEBERRY COLLINS.


• SPRITZ WITH A LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA — An important aspect of the Collins’ charm is its effervescence. Adding a fine spritz to a drink is a marvelous thing. Carbonation helps achieve all-important balance between the various elements in a cocktail. It enhances a drink’s mouth feel and most importantly, effervescence energizes a libation, transforming it from flat and lifeless to teeming with vibrancy and pizzazz.

One way to immediately improve the quality of your Collins drinks is to finish them with sparkling waters like San Pellegrino or Perrier. These famous waters have an abundance of fine invigorating bubbles and mild acidity. Club soda can’t begin to measure up.

There are a number of ways to inject effervescence into your next Collins creation, so put down the siphon bottle and consider your options. The classiest maneuver is to switch out the club soda in the drink for Champagne. It adds an engaging splash of flavor and the most elegant spritz known to man. Also recommended is finishing the drink with Prosecco, a delicious sparkling wine made north of Venice in the Veneto region of Italy or ginger beer, a no-alcohol brew flavored principally with ginger, lemon and sugar.


FINEST CALL COLLINS RECIPE

COLLINS

Collins or bucket glass (10-12 ounces), ice

Pour ingredients into an iced mixing glass

1 ½ oz. Requested Liquor or Liqueur

4 oz. Finest Call Tom Collins Mix

Shake and strain

Fill with club soda

Garnish with an orange slice


FINEST CALL SOUR RECIPE

SOUR

Cocktail or sour glass, chilled

Pour ingredients into an iced mixing glass

1 1⁄2 oz. Requested Liquor or Liqueur

3 oz. Finest Call Sweet & Sour Mix

Shake and strain

Garnish with an orange slice


FINEST CALL SIGNATURE COLLINS AND SOUR DRINKS

DOUBLEBERRY COLLINS

Collins or bucket glass, ice

Pour ingredients into an iced mixing glass

1 1⁄2 oz. Blackberry Brandy

3⁄4 oz. Finest Call Huckleberry Syrup

3 oz. Finest Call Tom Collins Mix

Shake and strain

Fill with club soda

Garnish with fresh berries and lemon slice


IRISH RASPBERRY SOUR

Cocktail or sour glass, ice

Pour ingredients into an iced mixing glass

1 1⁄2 oz. Irish Whiskey

3⁄4 oz. Chambord

3⁄4 oz. Finest Call Raspberry Puree

2 oz. Finest Call Sweet & Sour

Shake and strain

Garnish with a lemon slice


JACKIE OHRANJE COLLINS

Collins or bucket glass, ice

Pour ingredients into an iced mixing glass

1 1⁄2 oz. Orange Vodka

1⁄2 oz. Finest Call Triple Sec

3 oz. Finest Call Tom Collins Mix

Shake and strain

Fill with lemon-lime soda

Garnish with an orange slice


JAMIE LIMÓN COLLINS

Collins or bucket glass, ice

Pour ingredients into an iced mixing glass

1 1⁄2 oz. Bourbon

3⁄4 oz. Limoncello

3 oz. Finest Call Tom Collins Mix

Shake and strain

Fill with sparkling mineral water

Garnish with a lemon slice


PLAID COLLINS

Collins or bucket glass, ice

Pour ingredients into an iced mixing glass

1 1⁄2 oz. Scotch Whisky

1⁄2 oz. Sweet Vermouth

4 oz. Finest Call Tom Collins Mix

Shake and strain

Fill with club soda

Garnish with an orange slice


RIVIERA COLLINS

Collins or bucket glass, ice

Pour ingredients into an iced mixing glass

1 oz. VS Cognac

3⁄4 oz. Goldschlager

3 oz. Finest Call Tom Collins Mix

Shake and strain

Fill with Perrier Sparkling Mineral Water

Garnish with a lemon slice


SMOOTH & SOUR

Cocktail or sour glass, chilled

Pour ingredients into an iced mixing glass

1 oz. Bourbon

3⁄4 oz. Disaronno Amaretto

3⁄4 oz. Cointreau

3 oz. Finest Call Sweet & Sour

Shake and strain

Garnish with an orange slice


SOUR MELON PATCH

Cocktail or sour glass, ice

Pour ingredients into an iced mixing glass

1 1⁄2 oz. Citrus Vodka

3⁄4 oz. Midori

1 1⁄2 oz. Finest Call Mai Tai Mix

2 1⁄2 oz. Finest Call Sweet & Sour

Shake and strain

Garnish with a lemon wheel


SPARKLING APPLE SOUR

Champagne glass, chilled

Pour ingredients into an iced mixing glass

1 1⁄2 oz Light Rum

¾ oz. Finest Call Sour Apple Martini Mix

3 oz. Finest Call Sweet & Sour

Shake and strain

Top with chilled Brut Champagne

Garnish with a lemon wedge


TWISTED PISCO SOUR

Sugar-rimmed cocktail or sour glass, chilled

Pour ingredients into an iced mixing glass

1 1⁄2 oz. Pisco Brandy

2-3 dashes Angostura Bitters

3 oz. Finest Call Sweet & Sour

Shake and strain

Top with 1 oz. of dry red wine

Garnish with a lime wedge

Difficulty of
Preparation

Upselling
Potential

Alcohol-Free
Options