Foreign Tongues: Marissa and the Ruby Collins

One of the perks of having your own beverage blog is that it’s your very own unfiltered opinion all the time.  I’m always right, of course.  But guess what?  I’m also supremely magnanimous, and I understand that every once in a while you might want a second opinion.

Allow me to introduce the segment of the blog that will henceforth be called “Foreign Tongues.”  Today’s Foreign Tongue?


Marissa, as you can see, is flaming-haired.  She also likes math and booze, so is clearly one of my brethren.

I’d recently picked up a bottle of Ransom’s Old Tom Gin, and wanted to give it a taste.  We decided to make a variation on a Tom Collins, which I’ve been mentally calling a Ruby Collins.  We made it using 2 ounces of the gin, 1 ounce of freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1 ounce of Rhubarb Lime syrup stirred with ice and topped up with carbonated water.  We also poured a bit of the gin into a glass just to smell and taste it on its own.  Here’s what Marissa had to say…

“I love the tartness of this drink, and the way the rhubarb settles down and creates a multi-hued striation in the glass.  And the gin on its own is nice.  It’s the sort of gin you can drink if you hate gin, because it smells like a softer gin and isn’t astringent.  Normally, I compare gin to rubbing alcohol, but this has a sweetness to it… it’s as if gin and whiskey had a baby and buried it in the yard.  It’s grassy, and as it dilutes you start to smell vanilla and something spiced, like Chinese five spice.

“… This drink is really summery.  It makes me want a cold, lemon-grilled tempeh salad with Annie’s Goddess Dressing.  Something light, cold, and creamy with a citrus tinge.”

After a while we finished our drinks, and Marissa wanted to try her hand at concocting one, whereupon she found my insect collection. You see, last spring I took a course on insect pest management that involved putting together a collection of 30 insects from at least 10 orders.  The kind with pins and tags.  And the easiest way to kill an insect without damaging it is to freeze it.

Let’s just say that if I see a cool bug these days, I’m in the habit of collecting it.  Which was why


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