Remsen Cooler – Recipe from the ‘Old Waldorf Bar Guide’


Whole peel of Lemon 

One jigger Tom Gin 

Fill with plain Soda

A few years ago Bristol University funded an in-depth look into the effects of alcohol on its student population, something I can’t help but suspect was simply a way that several students very cleverly managed to get funding for their own alcohol consumption. It threw up some amazing insight on how we perceive people once we’ve had a drink or 6, one of the most interesting things I noticed was that in order to conduct the experiments they needed to create a perfect double blind situation, where some subjects would need to think they were drinking, even though they weren’t given any alcohol. What they discovered is that most subjects were statistically unable to determine if a drink had alcohol if the drink in question was 3 parts tonic water to one part vodka. That 3 to 1 of a flavoured mixer and a neutral alcohol is just a glass of drunk as opposed to a tasty beverage, or at least that’s how I look at it.

I found the Remsen Cooler to be a lot like this, especially if it’s served in a larger ‘Collins’ style glass, as requested. Tom Gin with its addition of sugar helps smooth out the alcohol, and the twist of lemon imparts enough flavour to make this taste a lot like drinking flavoured water instead of anything actually alcoholic, making it the equivalent of a 1930’s vodka lime and soda.

I’m a believer that drinks like this have a place, its not everyone that likes the taste of booze. I don’t fit in this category though, I tend to find things like this a little flavourless, and would rather have something like a ‘New Orleans’ (19th August), with less booze, but substantially more flavour.