Pull up a seat At The Bar, prepare to be impressed Thursday, Mar 25 2010 

In today’s Tribune, I wrote a little piece on The Drawing Room’s four-course, cocktail-paired monthly dinner party dubbed At The Bar.

I’ve so far been to two of these events (December’s theme was “Repeal Day”; March’s was “Scandinavian Feast”) and both were truly the best date nights in recent history. Not to mention, for a nice dinner (and drinks) out, they’re something of a bargain.

Highly recommended, if that’s not obvious from the article.

Thinking Derby thoughts… Wednesday, Mar 24 2010 

    I’m pleased to report that CPCC member Brandy Layne has offered to host our April meeting, which will focus on Kentucky Derby-inspired cocktails.

    An honorary Kentuckian herself, Brandy promises to discuss Derby-inspired cocktails including the traditional mint julep, as well as a few less obvious yet equally delicious choices.

    Till then, we’re saving the date: April 17, during cocktail hour, of course.

Inaugural CPCC meeting a success! Sunday, Mar 14 2010 

Based on members’ feedback and the tastiness of the cocktails produced, I’m going to go ahead and call last night’s inaugural Central Park Cocktail Club a success.

With the assistance of the beau, following the boilerplate recipe (see below), I made 32 Tom Collinses: one each of Old Tom and London dry gins, for CPCC’s 16 inaugural guests.

The results were unanimous: Old Tom-style gin wins over London dry. Now if only every cocktail bar would be so kind as to stock the former on its shelves! Till that day arrives, I’ll continue to order mine Old Tom-style at The Whistler, Longman & Eagle, The Drawing Room and The Violet Hour. If anyone else out there regularly stocks Old Tom style gin, do let me know.

Meanwhile, if anyone is curious to see March’s presentation, feel free to download it here.

As for next month’s club: Rumor has it we’ll explore juleps in honor of the derby, but this is yet to be confirmed.

Till then…

Tom Collins

2 oz. gin (Old Tom is preferable, London Dry will do)
3/4 to 1 oz. fresh lemon juice (to taste)
1/2 to 3/4 oz. simple syrup
cherry and lemon wedge garnish

Pour ingredients into cocktail shaker and fill with ice; cover and shake until shaker’s exterior is cold to touch. Strain contents of shaker into collins glass filled with ice. Top with soda and garnish with lemon and cherry.

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