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What to Drink This Weekend: Tom Collins

What to Drink This Weekend: Tom Collins

Looking for a new cocktail to try out this weekend? Want to wind down with a fresh new drink? We’ve got you covered. Here’s what you should drink this weekend.

To kick off the spring season, we’re recommending you try out the incredibly simple and deliciously refreshing Tom Collins cocktail. To be honest, I’m a recent convert to this drink. I don’t usually seek out gin-forward cocktails. But, the Tom Collins won me over thanks to its balance of flavors and thirst-quenching refreshment. We’ve covered the Tom Collins in detail, so we’ll keep things brief.

The Tom Collins cocktail can be traced back to the hotel Limmer’s Old House in London. Head bartender John Collins coined the cocktail, which called for Old Tom gin. The name seems to have stuck and, by the late 19th century, the drink had earned widespread popularity.

Tom Collins Ingredients

Gin – While the original version of this cocktail specifically calls for Old Tom gin, modern iterations of the Tom Collins cocktail use a variety of gin styles. We’d recommend finding a gin you prefer and building that into your bar cart selection. Tanqueray London Dry Gin is a classic, inexpensive option. For a modern take on the Old Tom gin, seek out Barr Hill Reserve Tom Cat. Lastly, Neversink Spirits is a newer distillery making excellent gin.

Lemon Juice – Grab a few lemons and start juicing. If you’re making cocktails regularly, we’d recommend acquiring some mason jars, squeeze bottles, or any vessel to store your lemon juice – especially if you’re hosting some friends for a party.

Simple Syrup – You can always buy a bottle of simple syrup, but we adamantly believe there’s no replacement for homemade simple syrup. Add equal parts sugar and water to a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is fully dissolved. Let cool and then pour into an airtight container like a mason jar. Keep refrigerated for up to a month.

Seltzer – Any sparkling water will do, but this is a good place to get creative and experiment with your Tom Collins cocktail. We’re big fans of Topo Chico and San Pellegrino for our fizzy drinks. Seek out some flavored sparkling waters for a unique twist on the Tom Collins. Or swap in some tonic water for a bite of bitterness. Whatever you do, make sure your seltzer is well chilled before pouring it into your cocktail.

Tom Collins Recipe

If you’re short on time and space, a simplified version of the Tom Collins cocktail can be simply made in the glass. That being said, we’d recommend shaking this cocktail to properly incorporate the lemon juice.

  1. Combine 2 ounces of gin, 1/2 an ounce of simple syrup, and 1 ounce of lemon juice in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add ice and shake vigorously until chilled, about 15-20 seconds.
  3. Strain into an ice-filled highball glass and top with soda water.
  4. Garnish with a lemon wheel and cocktail cherry.
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