Apple-Blueberry Collins

File this one under killing two birds with one stone.

A couple of posts back (Raspberries, Raspberries Everywhere) I mentioned that now that summer is upon us, I would do more recipes with fresh fruit. The post right below this one (Moving) mentions that several drinks were published in the inaugural issue of Bride & Groom magazine, so I’ve decided to do a post about one of the drinks published, thereby tackling both subjects.

Blueberries have probably got to be one of my favorite fruits to work with in cocktails. They are available during the summer, but I find they work best with the darker spirits, making for rich summer imbibing. (Have you subscribed yet?)

When coming up with recipes for the article, I tried to make them interesting, challenging without being too challenging, and with ingredients that weren’t too obscure. Some of my favorite blueberry recipes use sherry, but I find with any wine-style cocktails you have to be specific of the brand, or the flavor profile can be dramatically changed.

After much personal debate, I decided to create a new drink, easy to re-create both technically and ingredients-wise. Again, I feel blueberries work best with brown spirits, so I scanned the bar, looking for something to jump out at me.

Bourbon? Too obvious.

Rye? Overused (in my bar anyway).

Brandy? Already in two other blueberry drinks I’ve created.

Applejack? Applejack! Why do I always forget about applejack? I’ve used Calvados in the past, but for some reason I always forget to look to applejack when thinking about new creations.

I was first introduced to applejack when I went to Cocktails in the Country last year. It sounds unlikely, but you have to realize that I’m Canadian, and as such, had a very limited selection of alcohol. Well, allow me to say, it was love at first taste. Not a subtle as a Calvados, this was a powerful beast, and it was immediately apparent that it would work beautifully in cocktails. And so a new relationship was formed.

Once applejack was decided upon, the rest was easy. The drink had to be refreshing, as it was meant for a nice summer/early fall wedding. And so the Apple-Blueberry Collins was born.


2 oz Laird’s Applejack
1 oz lemon juice
¼ oz simple syrup
3 dashes Angostura bitters
10 blueberries
2 oz lemon-lime soda

Place all but lemon-lime soda into an iced shaker
Shake hard (to break up the blueberries) and strain into an iced Collins glass
Top with lemon-lime soda

Picture and drink by:
Jamie Boudreau


~ by Jamie Boudreau on July 8, 2007.

6 Responses to “Apple-Blueberry Collins”

  1. Hi Jamie,

    I have been working in cocktail bars for a couple of years now and love the sound of this drink but it raises a question which has puzzled me for some time now. That is, how much can you change a drink from its roots (eg. Collins) and before it is no longer a Collins.

    Pick up any second rate cocktail book or cocktail recipe website and you will find a million and one Martini’s, none of which bare any ressemblence to a tradition Gin Martini, but rather use the name as a trendy fashion label.

    Take for instance this drink, the Apple-Blueberry Collins. I can see how it can be easily justified as a Collins as it contains the same basic make-up with a few liberties added, however where is the limit. What if I made a Mint and Lime Collins, subsituting lemon juice for muddled limes, simple syrup for muddled palm sugar and using a Rum base instead of Gin… have i not just made a Mojito?

    Therefore my question for you is what point does labelling a drink a Collins become simply that…a label. Where does the justification end?


  2. In my mind, certain drinks become categories of their own. For instance a sour would be any drink containing a spirit, lemon juice and sweet (sugar or liqueur) to balance. The Collins, in my humble opinion, is another one of those drinks. (Rickeys, and fizzes would be sub-categories of the Collins.)
    I always try to classify a drink in order for a guest to have a better idea of what they are getting. The word Collins conjures up a tall refreshing drink with citrus and soda and already has a number of variations (Tom, John, Joe, Pedro, Ivan, Juan, etc, etc).
    Your Mojito example would be a Collins, but for the fact that the Mojito is served on crushed ice with only a splash of soda, and as such I would probably classify it under the heading “Swizzle”.
    As for your reference to the millions of books and bartenders who insist on calling anything in a cocktail glass a “martini”, I feel your pain. These abominations, however, have no relation to the original cocktail consisting of gin, dry vermouth and bitters. If, however, you were to create a drink with vodka, punt e mes, and peach bitters (please don’t) and wanted to call it a Rat Pack Martini, while I may not agree with the concept, I would have a pretty good idea of what I was getting into, before I ordered it.
    Having said that, I don’t personally believe that there is enough room to maneuver with a spirit, vermouth and bitters to make a whole category! (someone prove me wrong please).

  3. Cheers for the reply Jamie,

    Interesting and much appreciated


  4. […] into cocktail blogging as he prepared an Apple-Blueberry Collins, developed by Jamie Boudreau at Spirits & Cocktails. Sorry for the sleepless nights, Robert — I was wondering who actually read my […]

  5. […] Similarly, most of my cocktail blog reading benefits my bar guests, but sometimes, you get a little selfish and keep things at home. This tends to happen when the ingredients required aren’t available at our bar. I have trouble singling out one specific cocktail among so many that I’ve enjoyed, but the other day I made one of Jamie Boudreau’s Apple-Blueberry Collins, which he just posted on his site. Make sure to check out his post on the recipe below: […]

  6. vtiHudJL2oIDH

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