Old Tom Fringe - A Cocktail for the Clubhouse
I made a cocktail strong and refreshing enough to help ease the pain of a poorly shot round. Recipe first.
The Old Tom Fringe
1.25 oz. Eight Oaks Old Tom Gin
1.25 oz. Elderflower Liqueur
1.25 oz. Limoncello
1/2 oz. Lemon Juice
1/2 oz. Pistachio Orgeat*
All ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake. Double strain into a Collins glass with an ice spear. Garnish with lemon wedge and basil leaves.
*Here's the recipe I used for my pistachio orgeat. It's a little bit of work but it's so worth it.
And here's where I got the pick used in the garnish.
I enjoy the game of golf. I'm still very new to the game, this is only my second year playing the sport but I am thoroughly hooked. As I was drumming up some inspiration for cocktails, it occurred to me that there was certainly some drink culture to be found in the world of golf. You've got beer, which is a standard on any golf course - riding around in your cart with a cold brew, cussing out your ball as you hit it into the woods, getting back to the cart and slugging down the rest out of frustration - I know that routine all to well. You've got the Azalea named for the 13th hole at Augusta National Golf Club where the Masters Tournament is held annually. And of course, you have the Arnold Palmer, named for one of the all-time greats - it's the combination of iced tea and lemonade and it seemed that this was a good platform upon which I could build a cocktail that would be welcome and refreshing whether on the fairway or the 19th hole. I chose to swap out the lemonade for limoncello and the iced tea for elderflower liqueur - something about elderflower liqueur always reminded me of green tea; sweet and herbal. I felt that a good gin would also be great as the base spirit for this cocktail so I went with Eight Oaks' Old Tom Gin - I had just sampled it at the Easton Public Market and knew that it would fit right in.
Now, at this point, I recognized that I was getting close to building a Tom Collins with a splash of elderflower liqueur, so to twist it away from infringing upon that recipe any further, I decided I'd like to add some Pistachio Orgeat (pronounced ôrZHät). Orgeat is a syrup typically made with almonds but you can use just about any other nut if you're looking for a specific flavor profile. It's a little labor intensive to make but I believe the juice is worth the squeeze, as they say. As you're preparing it, it fills the kitchen with a beautiful aroma and the strained and sugary pistachio grounds that are left over from the process can be used in for baking or repurposed as a topping for anything you'd like to make just that much sweeter. Well worth the time and effort and, in this drink, it provides a smoother, velvety mouth feel and a very subtle pistachio nut flavor against the against the other refreshing, lemony, sweet ingredients.
After a few tests, I found a combination that I was truly pleased with and one that I could see myself ordering at the clubhouse on a hot day to obtain some sweet relief. The only thing left to do was to name it. I thought about the things I liked about golf - being outdoors, the scenery, sinking a 20-foot putt (only happened to me once so far but it was a glorious moment). Then I thought about how I prepped for my first outing; not only did I go to the driving range and watch a ton of tutorials, I also looked up the slang. I didn't want to get out on the links and have somebody use a term in conversation that went right over my head so, naturally, I educated myself on some golf course colloquialisms - the research was pretty entertaining. Worm burner - a very low, line drive shot, blazing along just above the grass. Dew sweepers - folks that like to begin their round as the sun is coming up. My favorite, though, was "frog fur," a term used to describe the short grass around the putting green commonly known as the fringe. That term always stuck with me but I didn't exactly want to call a drink the Frog Fur. I settled for "Old Tom Fringe" but I wouldn't be mad if anyone called it the Old Tom Frog Fur.
I take a lot of pictures when I'm out on the golf course. Most clubs are well manicured and located in areas that just beg to be photographed - also, I just like to document good times with my friends. That's probably my true favorite thing about golf - it's another excuse to spend time with the folks that I care about. I'd like to end this post with a few photos I've taken out on the links.
Thanks for reading.
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Be sure to check out eightoaksdistillers.com - great stuff!