This tall glass of lemon flavoured cocktail is cold and refreshing. Prepared with simple ingredients like fresh lemon juice, gin, sugary syrup, and soda, it’s sure to wake up your senses! When it comes to drinks suited for lounging in the backyard on a hot, summer day, nothing beats a Tom Collins Cocktail!
I’ve been testing a lot of cocktail recipes lately, and as much as I love anything made with cranberry juice, this lemony cocktail has got to be in my top five! A Tom Collins Cocktail looks light and refreshing, and it is! But, it has a good splash of gin to offset the sourness of the lemon.
I prepared two versions of this one. The first version I stayed true to the recipe I was working with. I used the gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and club soda. But, I don’t like the taste of club soda. In my opinion, there wasn’t enough lemon juice or simple syrup to offset the taste of it. So, I prepared a second version.
The second version was much better. Not only did I happen to boost the lemon flavour, while maintaining the bubble and fizz one would get from the club soda, but I was also able to get a hint of lime in there too. The drink was still light and refreshing, because, you see, Dear Reader, I substituted the club soda with lemon-lime soda. It was delicious!
SIMPLE SYRUP OR SUGARY SYRUP
A simple syrup is a very common ingredient in the world of cocktails. You can buy it online or at some liqueur stores, but why spend the money when you can make it yourself at home? Simple syrup is a mixture of water and sugar. It is boiled until the sugar is dissolved and the water begins to thicken like, well, a syrup!
Simple syrup can be used to add sweetness to foods, or even increase the sweetness level in foods that are already a little sweet. A perfect example is a fruit salad. Even though fruit is already naturally sweet, some people like to add a simple syrup to their fruit salad to increase the sweetness, but to also act as a shiny glaze.
I have a recipe here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen for an Easy Simple Syrup. As you can see from the link above, store-bough simple syrups can be quite costly. Save your money and make your own with sugar, water, and patience.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED FOR THIS DRINK:
- Gin – Gin is a distilled spirit that is made from grain and flavored with botanicals. The main ingredient is juniper berries, so you might detect a pine flavour depending on how sensitive your palette might be. Gin is originally a Dutch creation, but is now popular all around the world, and it is the main ingredient in a martini. Countless cocktail recipes include gin.
- Lemon Juice – Whenever you see a cocktail prepared with lemon juice, always assume that the juice is freshly squeezed. Under no circumstances is it okay to use anything you can buy from the store in bottle!
- Simple Syrup – Simple syrup is a very common ingredient in the world of cocktails. You can buy it online or at some liqueur stores, but why spend the money when you can make it yourself at home? Simple syrup is a mixture of water and sugar. It is boiled until the sugar is dissolved and the water begins to thicken like, well, a syrup!
- Club Soda – Club soda is similar to seltzer water, but in addition to carbon dioxide, various minerals such as sodium bicarbonate, sodium citrate, disodium phosphate, and occasionally sodium chloride are added. If a cocktail recipe calls for club soda, but you only have seltzer on hand, use it. The two are hardly distinguishable.
THE COLLINS SCHOOL OF COCKTAILS
Did you know that there is a whole family of cocktails that fall under the Collins brand/theme? I could go into detail about some of them, but what it essentially comes down to is the exchange of the simple syrup for something else. A perfect example would be the Lilac Scented Collins. Mix the drink just as you would for an original Tom Collins Cocktail, but exchange the simple syrup with Lilac Syrup. If your syrup is strong enough, your cocktail will take on a beautiful purple colour.
So, try a simple syrup made with rhubarb, blueberry, or raspberry syrup. Try adding one of my cordials instead of the regular simple syrup to infuse your drink with a new flavour. The possibilities are endless when it comes to making a new version of the classic Tom Collins.
HOW TO MAKE A TOM COLLINS COCKTAIL:
To prepare a Tom Collins Cocktail, fill a highball glass half full with ice. Measure the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup into the glass and use a cocktail stir spoon to stir until the liquid is chilled – about 30 seconds. Top up the glass with the club soda. Place a few pieces of fresh ice into the glass and drop in a slice or two of lemon and lime. Serve immediately.
The Tom Collins Cocktail
- 2 1/2 ounces gin
- 1 3/4 ounces lemon juice
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- 3/4 cup club soda
- lemon and lime slices for garnish
- Fill a highball glass half full with ice.
- Pour into a chilled martini glass and serve immediately.
- Measure the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup into the glass. Use a cocktail spoon to stir for 30 seconds to chill the drink.
- Top up the glass with the club soda. Add a few pieces of fresh ice.
- Garnish with thinly sliced lemon and lime. Serve immediately.