Tikitender: Bring back the Tom Collins

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  • | 7:00 p.m. June 13, 2013
  • Palm Coast Observer
  • Opinion
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Mark Woods became a bartender by accident. While applying for a job at the Harborside Inn, in 2004, Woods was convinced to test out bartending, even though he didn't have any experience. At that time, he had never even worked in a restaurant.

Along the way, Woods found a connection to the tiki bar overlooking the marina, which became his most assigned work spot. It was then that co-workers dubbed him Tikitender.

The resort closed in 2005, but the nickname stuck. From there, Woods started working at the Golden Lion, which is where he said he blossomed as a bartender. Another thing blossoming at the time was social media. He started to use MySpace to get his friends to come out and see him when he was working.

MySpace was the cool thing then, as Facebook was a closed network, only available to college students with a .edu email address. From there, it evolved into blogging, which evolved into twitter and Facebook, once it was opened to the public.

“That’s really how I got my legend, if you want to call it that,” he said. “Social media, the Internet made me.”

In 2012, Woods launched Fun Coast Bartending, a bartending company he uses for private events, weddings, chamber functions and most impressive of all, the 2013 Rock ‘n' Rib Fest.

“That was a big feather in my cap, to be hired by the city,” he said.

Eventually, if there is liquor being poured somewhere, Woods want to be there, with his business pouring it. But this week, he is talking about summer cocktails. His drink of choice, the Tom Collins — a classic and something he said a lot of bartenders don’t even know how to make anymore.

Woods is calling for the Tom Collins revival.

“As much as I like making new stuff, I like to help people rediscover old stuff,” Woods said. “On a hot summer day, if you drink all that juice, it starts to get to you. There is a reason this has been a classic cocktail — it’s because it has the balance between citrus and sweet and fizz.”

Tom Collins
What you need:
Fresh lemons
Soda water
Oranges and cocktail cherries for garnish

What to do:
If you don’t have a Collins glass, try to use another tall glass such as a cooler glass or even a beer pint. Squeeze a half lemon into the glass and add a teaspoon of sugar. Stir this mixture a bit with a bar spoon.

Fill with ice and pour in 2 ounces of gin. Shake with vigor to dissolve the sugar. Top with club soda and stir.

Garnish with a cherry and orange slice.

An alternate method, a little more labor intensive, is to muddle lemon wedges with the sugar then continue the rest of the process.

- recipe from www.tikitender.com




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