• April 28, 2017

Cocktail of the Week: The Phil Collins

Alexis Jesup

Not every cocktail gets to have “She’s an Easy Lover” as its menu tagline. But The Phil Collins isn’t every cocktail.

“It’s a very carefully disguised Tom Collins,” says Jared Sadoian, bar manager of The Hawthorne, in reference to the cocktail’s unique name.

Indeed, The Phil Collins and its classic cousin share many ingredients: a clear spirit, citrus juice, simple syrup. But two others set the Phil Collins apart: Square One Cucumber Vodka and Yellow Chartreuse. The former is a rye vodka made with cucumber essence, lending it a spicy, floral quality that’s more reminiscent of gin minus the juniper. Yellow Chartreuse, made with a blend of over 130 plants and flowers, adds a sweet, herbaceous kick of its own.

The drink’s bitter-tang finish is courtesy of Sweetgrass Farm Winery & Distillery’s Cranberry Bitters—which, according to Sadoian, “captures all the bitter elements you find in cranberries and bottles it up.”

But amidst all those flavors, the tempering powers of simple syrup and lime juice keep things balanced. The cocktail goes down almost worryingly easy, begging for a second round.

Originally conceived by The Hawthorne’s legendary founder, Jackson Cannon, the Phil Collins appeared on the sleek, cozy cocktail bar’s opening menu. It’s since become a classic, and annually rejoins the menu for three to four weeks around the start of each summer.

But it can also be ordered year-round. Sadoian estimates that the Hawthorne’s drink catalog is currently “400 to 500 cocktails deep,” adding that 90 percent of them can be made anytime upon request.

The Phil Collins

1½ ounces Square One Cucumber Vodka  
¾ ounce lime juice
¾ ounce simple syrup
½ ounce Yellow Chartreuse
Dash of Sweetgrass Farm Winery & Distillery Cranberry Bitters (can substitute with Peychaud’s)
1 ounce soda water

Combine ingredients in shaker and fill with ice. Shake for 5-7 seconds, then strain into a Collins glass filled with ice. Top off with soda water.

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