The Tom Collins Cocktail is one I love all year round; it’s perfect for a crowd and a great accompaniment to spicy foods served at parties.
This time last year I was immersed in the opposite of what I am today; packing up and giving away and preparing to sell my home. You know what? I like this end SO much better. Still a lot of work but without the same deadlines and well, I’m in my home and not leaving it. There are no words. Except maybe Finally and Gratefully. I love this space. Yes, the yard is smaller and neighbors are closer but I’m OK with that and I’m already cultivating plans for what I’ll plant this summer. One word? Herbs. Especially lavender. It is one of the plants I left at my house that I just loved; why can’t I re-create Provence right here…in a sort of more minuscule way of course!
What else is different? Well, this year the Denver Broncos did not lose a playoff game we hoped they would win, no, the boys in blue and orange did their job well and everyone in Denver, including moi, might be a bit excited about actually being IN the Super Bowl. GO Broncos!
What is similar to this time last year is the lack of blog posts. Much like then, sandwiches, salads and soups are the meal plan if we’re lucky but we’ve certainly had more fast food than I care to acknowledge. Finding the time to craft a new cocktail is just not happening on a regular schedule yet because I have some work to do to get my new space ready for actually taking photos; you can see it’s still a bit of a mess. A trip to IKEA and a wall of shelves is going to have to happen to hold those boxes of cookbooks in the back corner but I’ve got internet setup and all my remotes synced…hey, I’m getting there!
Still I had the urge last night for a favorite and wanted to make something I could serve during the game. The Tom Collins has a long history and is certainly worthy of being considered a classic. Rediscovering an ‘old fashioned’ cocktail is as much fun sometimes as making a new one and I just love this drink. I saw someone once refer to it as ‘the little black dress’ of cocktails and that’s a most fitting description; you can never go wrong when serving this simple, tasty and refreshing cocktail.
Maybe part of the reason is that it’s easy and when I’m serving drinks to a crowd, easy is good. Made from gin, lemon juice, sugar and carbonated water; those are ingredients I always have on hand. The Tom Collins was first memorialized in writing in 1876 by “the father of American mixology” Jerry Thomas, as this “gin and sparkling lemonade” drink typically served in a Collins glass over ice.
I’m having some friends over to watch the game…and or course to chat and drink and eat great food (like these fabulous pork tacos). I’m not much of a beer drinker so while I will have some on hand, this is one of two cocktails I’ll plan to serve to my guests (Next week I’m thinking a cocktail named ‘Omaha’ might have to be made!) Not pretentious or difficult to make, it’s a perfect cocktail to match with the wide array of foods served on game day…or any day for that matter!
Though I would expect it is more often categorized as a cocktail for summer; I like it for a get together when a mix of appetizers will be served, especially knowing many of them have a tendency to be spicy…it’s a perfect compliment to hot wings, nachos and dips. Served in a tall glass with straws, it refreshing., easy and versatile…so don’t forget it when summer rolls around too!
If you’re in need of a team to root for, well I invite you to try on the Broncos…and if you just need a cocktail to serve because you’re already a Broncos fan; try this one on. I added some orange juice from the cut orange, you know…all things orange and all this weekend, right? Maybe I should have renamed it the Peyton Collins!
The Tom Collins – A Classic Cocktail for Super Bowl Sunday
- 4 ounces gin
- 1-2 oz lemon juice depending on personal taste
- 2 tsp simple syrup (combine equal parts water and sugar; bring to boil until sugar melts, remove from heat and cool)
- Club soda or seltzer water, chilled
- Maraschino cherry, lemon and orange slices for garnish
- Fill your Collins glasses with ice and fill a cocktail shaker half full with ice.
- Add the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup to the shaker and shake until cold.
- Strain the cocktail ingredients into the ice filled glasses.
- Top off the cocktail with club soda or seltzer, and garnish with lemon and/or orange wheels and a maraschino cherry.
- Serve with tall straws.
Though not at all typical, I decided to squeeze a bit of fresh orange juice into mine since I had sliced the orange for garnish. I can not deny...I liked it!