Prepare This Refreshing California Collins

California Collins

As a California native, everything about this cocktail screams, “my old stomping grounds!” Mixologist Ryan Fitzgerald created this drink for the 2009 San Francisco Slow Food Festival using only local ingredients: The gin came from Distillery No. 209 (located at Pier 50 on Fisherman's Wharf), the apples for the juice from a Sonoma orchard and the lemon verbena from an urban garden run by his cousin. Doesn’t it all just say “fresh” to you? Even the club soda was Bay Area–made, by the bottle-recycling Seltzer Sisters. This awesome cocktail can be easily recreated with your own local ingredients, and your girlfriends will love it as you plan your next girls weekend to the California coast.

Ingredients for one cocktail | Multiply by degree of thirst and divide by of girlfriends!

8 fresh lemon verbena leaves (or one 1 1/2-inch piece of lemongrass, tender inner white bulb only, crushed) 


2 ounces gin, preferably Junípero 

2 ounces unfiltered apple juice 

1 ounce chilled club soda


Step 1

In a Collins glass, gently muddle the lemon verbena leaves or lemongrass bulb. 

Step 2

Add ice and the gin and apple juice; stir well. If using lemongrass, discard the bulb. 

Step 3

Stir in the club soda.

Enjoy this cocktail with some California fish tacos while planning your next girls weekend to Monterey using our guide.

Recipe and photo source:
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