Summer Imbibing


I have a new cocktail up at Imbibe this weekend featuring the limited edition Beefeater Summer Gin, hibiscus syrup, lemon, and cucumber. If you’re looking for a refreshing summer drink, give the Tiberius Fizz a try.

Why Tiberius? The emperor was reportedly extremely fond of cucumbers:

According to The Natural History of Pliny, by Pliny the Elder (Book XIX, Chapter 23), the Roman Emperor Tiberius had the cucumber on his table daily during summer and winter. The Romans reportedly used artificial methods (similar to the greenhouse system) of growing to have it available for his table every day of the year. To quote Pliny; “Indeed, he was never without it; for he had raised beds made in frames upon wheels, by means of which the cucumbers were moved and exposed to the full heat of the sun; while, in winter, they were withdrawn, and placed under the protection of frames glazed with mirrorstone. Reportedly, they were also cultivated in cucumber houses glazed with oiled cloth known as “specularia”.

He was also a dark, somber, and sometimes tyrannical ruler, described by Pliny as “the gloomiest of men.” Perhaps a few cucumber fizzes would have cheered him up.


Good Old Tom

An interesting bit of history from Houston bartender Bobby Heugel’s weekly drink column, this week about the Tom Collins:

The era’s infatuation with Old Tom Gin today seems most analogous to our society’s accessibility to and reliance upon Starbucks. Among various other alcoholic habits, Tom Gin fanatics would approach neighborhood bars that had wooden cat silhouettes hanging on the walls — hence the second origin story, that the drink is named after a bar cat. They would then deposit a coin in the cat’s eye, alerting the bartender inside to pour a shot into a tube that extended out from the cats paws. The person would place their mouth on the tube and drink the flowing gin. Now, that’s drive-thru service!

I’m generally optimistic about social progress, but on the availability of Old Tom gin we are clearly backsliding!