Patriotic Cocktails, Part 2: The Thomas Jefferson Collins

This Independence Day, set yourself free from garish red-white-and-blue cocktails by mixing up some patriotic drinks whose taste as well as appearance honors the spirit of the holiday. In this series, I will explore some off-the-beaten-path adult beverages for your July 4th party.

In addition to composing that handy doc known as the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson also invented a wine dumb waiter, improved the design of the swivel chair, and designed that quaint little shack known as Monticello. He was a true renaissance man, which I have come to learn is the nice way of describing someone whose interests are all over the place.

For his diverse accomplishments and steadfast commitment to getting the British the hell out of America, Thomas Jefferson certainly deserves a drink. I could do as TJ would do and invent one for the occasion, but someone has already beat me to it.

The Thomas Jefferson Collins, created in 2010 by the Snake & Oil Cocktail Company for the San Diego and La Jolla Democratic Club's Christmas Party, is a substantial but refreshing summer cocktail that can be created in volume should your July 4th party be more well-attended than expected. The recipe:

The Thomas Jefferson Collins

  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • Dash of Angostura Bitters
  • Splash of port
  • Sparkling Wine
  • Lemon wedge

Combine vodka, lemon juice, bitters, and port in shaker filled with ice. Shake well, then strain into collins glass filled with ice. Top with sparkling wine and garnish with lemon wedge.

Most any sweet sparkling white wine will suffice, but do as Tom Jefferson would and try to use some quality cava or even champagne.

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Joanna O'Leary