By Richard Thomas
I spent the bulk of my life living in places with hot, steamy summers, and the steamy aspect ensures that the heat of the day dissipates very little at night. The result was that my good whiskey stayed put on the shelf and gathered dust until autumn came, because whiskey’s warmth is at best unpleasant when you are sitting in a steam room. The same dilemma is shared by many a Briton expat living in some tropical clime in the Commonwealth, as well as many fans of rye and bourbon whiskey living in the mid-Atlantic, mid-West and Deep South.
Putting ice in good whiskey is a terrible sin, but not so for mixer-grade whiskey. And so long as you are putting ice in it, why not make a virtue of necessity with an icy whiskey cocktail?
Alternately known as the Sandy or Jock Collins, this particular cocktail is a spin on the Tom Collins. In a nutshell, it replaces the gin with scotch.
2 oz. scotch whiskey
1 oz. lemon juice
1 tsp. table sugar
3 oz. club soda (carbonated water)
A cherry is a common garnish, but I used an orange slice here.
This makes one cocktail. Mix the ingredients in a shaker, and pour into a tall glass (bars have special glasses for the Tom Collins) half-filled with ice. It’s that simple.
The choice of what scotch to use is less so. Use a scotch that minimizes woody and/or peaty notes, since smoke and thick oak don’t meld well with the lemon and sugar. Go with a more floral scotch. William Lawson’s is a good choice for this cocktail, to cite just one example.