Burly bartender, mobile bartender, raleigh, nc
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Tom Collins


Serving: 1

  • 2 oz Gin
  • 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 oz Simple Syrup
  • Chilled Soda Water

Garnish: Orange Half Wheel

  1. Combine gin, lemon juice and simple syrup in a shaker.
  2. Fill a chilled collins/highball glass with ice.
  3. Fill shaker with ice, shake for 3-4 seconds.
  4. Pour in 2-3 ounces of soda water in collins glass.
  5. Strain cocktail into glass.
  6. Top with more soda, if needed/desired.
  7. Garnish with an orange half wheel – if desired.
The Perfect Collins Technique

Many recipes for this drink, and others like it, call for the ingredients to be combined in the glass, including the soda water, and stirred or rolled – which means poured back and forth between another glass or shaker – to mix. We have two problems with this: one, it doesn’t get the drink cold enough and two, it kills too much carbonation. That’s why our approach is to shake the gin, lemon and simple syrup separately, but briefly. This chills and combines them without creating much dilution. Then we pour the soda water into the glass first, rather than at the end. This way, when you strain in the drink everything is instantly mixed without any stirring, avoiding more carbonation disruption.


The Colder Everything is the Better

If you can, put the glasses in the freezer ahead of time, and even the gin (we generally don’t advocate for freezing spirits because it doesn’t allow for enough dilution, but since we’re adding soda water, dilution isn’t an issue). And of course the soda water should be as close to freezing without crystallizing as possible.


Soda Water

Use soda water with the highest level of carbonation you can find. Stay away from lightly carbonated sparkling water like Perrier or Pellegrino. While wonderful on their own, they don’t hold their own in cocktails. Schweppes and Canada Dry are our usual go-tos, Boylan’s is excellent too. The smaller 10 oz bottles are ideal. You’ll go through them quicker, so there’s less chance of them going flat. Naturally, for best results use bottles that are freshly opened, they’re never quite as bubbly after that.

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