Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Bridgeworthy: Collins and Coupe, Let’s Make a Drink

Collins & Coupe, 2876 El Cajon Blvd

Cocktails take center stage this time of year, with New Year’s Eve quickly approaching. Professional bartenders and amateur mixologists must prepare for the ball drop.

Every bar needs the right tools to function efficiently. I have ordered bar tools online and have often been disappointed. Where can you get a good quality jigger, a shaker whose top won’t fuse, and a bar spoon that feels right in your hand? Look no further than Collins & Coupe. This store is Disneyland for anyone that loves cocktails.

Bring your wallet, as a trip to this store will prove costly. You will spend a lot of money at Collins & Coupe because you want to buy all the fun things they offer. You can enter this store with a single item in mind, but you will most likely walk out with more.

Shakers and bar spoons at Collins & Coupe.

You have to spend money to save money… Getting a good bar set up at home takes an investment, but it will pay dividends. The price of having cocktails out on the town has never been higher. Drinking out makes for an expensive sport at 16 to 20 dollars a cocktail. But once you stock your bar with all the right gear, making a cocktail at home will save you a lot of money in the long run. Do the math, two on the town having two cocktails a piece can run anywhere from $65 to $80. You can purchase several good bottles of liquor or one very nice one for the same price. One 750 ml bottle of liquor can make up to sixteen drinks depending on the cocktail.

I headed to Collins & Coupe (C&C) to up my cocktail game at home. I have recently learned to make several new drinks, so I grabbed all the tools needed to make them at home, complete with the correct glassware.

Measuring cups and jiggers at Collins & Coupe.

Old Fashioned cocktails frequently happen in our house, so we needed the right stuff. An Old Fashioned requires a rocks glass, either a single or a double.

A recent dinner at Mable’s Gone Fishing turned us on to the most wonderfully textured rocks glasses that felt at home in our hands. I was able to find something similar at Collins & Coupe.

Absinthe set, fountain dripper, spoons, and glasses at Collins & Coupe.

When the bartender at OB Noodle house taught us how to make their signature Peanut Butter Old Fashioned, I got the chocolate mole bitters there. C&C has over 100 different types of bitters.

Collins & Coupe carries well over 100 different flavors of bitters.

They even have large ice squares and spheres for sale. Remember the cherries too. They take center stage in our Old Fashioned, and C&C carries the best. You can also get a good citrus peeler for making your garnish.

Jessie, the bar manager at The Henry in Coronado, taught us how to make a Paper Plane cocktail. C&C provided a new shaker, a fine mesh strainer, and fun coupe glasses.

Recently, Amaros have taken center stage, but navigating all the different ones can be challenging even for a professional. Never fear; they have a fantastic reference book on Amaros. The library of cocktail and liquor reference books C&C has for sale staggers the imagination.

At every turn, you will see something unique and exciting. A branding stamp for ice takes the cake for my favorite find to date. What is a branding stamp for ice you ask? A branding stamp leaves an image or a pattern on an ice cube. It may sound like folly, but it is a great finishing touch. The bartenders will kill me for saying so, but next time you post up at the bar at The Henry, make them stamp your ice, and tell them Clyde sent you.

Cashing out at Collins & Coupe.

Collins & Coupe has renewed my love of mixing cocktails because I no longer have to make a ‘home version’ of my favorite drinks. I can make the same cocktail at home that I enjoy when I am out, complete with stamped ice and proper glassware.

This magical store is a short drive away; I like to head there for lunch. Across the street is the Wise Ox Butcher & Deli, owned by the Trust Restaurant Group. You can grab something extraordinary for dinner while also ordering sandwiches for lunch. This store is a staple of mine. You have two reasons to leave the island. Cheers!

Collins & Coupe
2876 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego


Clyde Van Arsdall
Clyde Van Arsdall
Clyde is a trained chef that has worked in hospitality for nearly 40 years. In addition to cooking, he is a freelance food writer and storyteller. Clyde is a third-generation Coronado local, CHS graduate, and father of three. He owns and operates Olive Avenue Supper Club, a boutique catering company specializing in culinary experiences. You can follow his culinary journey on Instagram @oliveavenuesupper.Have a story for The Coronado Times to cover? Send news tips or story ideas to: [email protected]