Last Updated on July 12, 2023
This basil-infused Tom Collins drink is refreshing and invigorating! Whether you’re a connoisseur of classic cocktails, or just looking to add something special to your precious alone time.
From its vibrant color and crisp flavor to its exceptionally smooth finish, this Tom Collins drink recipe is sure to become a staple at every gathering.
So let’s mix up a glass of Tom Collins, close your eyes and take a sip…
Relax and just let the stress of the day fade away…
Tom Collins Cocktail
Tom Collins is an iconic, classic gin cocktail that’s dated all the way back to the 1800s. It is a true classic beverage, with its two main ingredients–gin and lemon.
The traditional Tom Collins cocktail recipe is typically comprised of gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and soda water for topping off the glass.
History of This Classic Cocktail
The exact origins of the Tom Collins are unclear, with some sources claiming the drink was named after “Old Tom” , the nickname of Charles Cabell Turlington, a British drinks importer who brought Old Tom Gin from London to the U.S.
And other sources claiming it originated among Irish-Americans in New York City.
Regardless of its origin, it quickly became an iconic party favorite among bartenders and thirsty patrons alike. Today, there are several variations on the classic cocktail such as adding different syrups or tonic water.
Additionally, more recent spins on the classic include infusing fresh herbs such as basil, rosemary, or mint for an added flavor punch!
What Does It Taste Like?
The Tom Collins has an unmistakable sweet-tart flavor that many find irresistible. The base of the cocktail is dry gin, which imparts herbal and juniper notes to the drink.
Combined with the tartness of lemon or lime juice, the sweetness of simple syrup, and the effervescence of club soda. It creates a perfectly balanced beverage.
The taste is slightly sweet with a hint of tartness, making it just right for hot summer days. The aroma brings out hints of juniper and citrus, while the feel on the tongue is light and refreshing. All in all, it’s no wonder that this timeless classic remains one of the most popular cocktails around!
Tom Collins VS. John Collins: what’s the difference?
In contrast to its more famous sibling, the Tom Collins cocktail, the John Collins uses bourbon whiskey instead of gin.
So now you know if you want to whip up a glass of John Collins cocktail, just choose your favorite bourbon to complement lemon juice, simple syrup, and club soda, and enjoy this classic cocktail.
How To Make A Tom Collins With A Basil Twist
Tom Collins cocktail is a refreshing classic; made with gin, simple syrup, fresh lemon juice and soda water. With this recipe, we’ve given it a twist by infusing basil into the syrup for added flavor.
This particular version of a Tom Collins has basil infused in it, giving it an extra layer of light, herbal flavor. To make this Basil Infused Tom Collins, you will simply need:
- Gin (Dry White)
- Lemon juice
- Lime Juice
- Simple syrup
- Basil leaves
- English cucumber (for garnish, *optional)
A cocktail shaker
A tall highball glass or a Collins glass
Step By Step
With just a few ingredients you can make a wonderful twist on an old classic Tom Collins recipe that will be sure to impress your guests!
1. Prepare the garnish:
• Cut into thick spears about 1”/2.5cm taller than your glass.
• Use a peeler (or mandolin) to thinly slice the cucumber lengthwise.
2. Add ice cubes to a collins or large rocks glass. Add the cucumber garnish. If aiming for a swirl of cucumber against the side of the glass, place the cucumber in first – use a chop stick or bar spoon to help position it before adding the ice.
3. In a mixing glass, muddle the basil leaves with the simple syrup.
4. Add the lemon juice, lime juice, and gin. Add ice and shake for 30 seconds.
5. Strain and pour into the prepared glass. Top with soda water and serve.
Variations Of Tom Collins
Over the years, this cocktail has become a very popular drink and many variations have emerged.
Basil is one of the more popular herbs used in infusing vodka or gin for flavor enhancements. A classic basil Tom Collins will have several ingredients added to the original recipe for an interesting twist on this classic beverage.
Basil Flavors: Basil is an incredibly versatile herb that can be used in many different recipes as it has a broad spectrum of flavors from sweet, spicy, nutty, grassy, herbal and even licorice-like flavors.
The addition of this herb to the regular Collins recipe makes for a unique flavor not found in other cocktails.
- Gin: The original recipe calls for dry white gin which gives the drink its tartness and blends it with the sweetness of simple syrup. For your basil infused Tom Collins, if available, you may want to choose an herbal dominated gin such as Tanqueray No. 10 which offers notes of juniper berry, angelica root and cubeb along with coriander seeded citrus peel and seville oranges. These will react well with the basil notes when mixed together.
- Simple Syrup: Utilizing simple syrup instead of sugar cubes will provide a mellow sweetness to balance out any acidic flavors from tart lemons or limes that you may have added to your concoction as well as ensuring that each sip delivers consistent sweetness for maximum pleasure (If you like a touch of caramel flavor, you can use homemade demerara syrup).
- Lemon or lime Juice: To really get some zest going in your bellini you’ll need some lemon juice – which also acts as a sharpening agent when mixed with all other ingredients – think subtle yet tangy!
- Club Soda or Tonic Water: Adding either club soda or tonic water is simply key when making any version of Tom Collinses – this lets you differentiate between versions such as fizzy vs non-fizzy (depending on what type of carbonated beverage you decided to put).
Tips for Making an Exceptional Tom Collins
With the right ingredients and careful preparation, you can recreate this classic highball in your own home. Here are some tips for making an exceptional Tom Collins:
- Start by infusing your choice of gin with fresh basil leaves for at least 4 hours. Letting it steep longer will bring out more of the basil’s flavors but be sure not to leave it too long or the basil will start to degrade and turn bitter.
- Now you are ready to mix up your Tom Collins! For a single drink, combine your infused gin with fresh lemon and lime juice, simple syrup, and 3-4 dashes of orange bitters (optional) into a shaker filled with ice cubes. Shake well until the tin becomes very cold and strain into an ice-filled collins glass.
- Top off with club soda or tonic water until nearly full and add additional ice if desired, stirring lightly to combine ingredients before garnishing with a sprig of fresh basil leaves or lemon wheel.
Making this irresistible classic drink has never been easier! Remember that practice makes perfect so don’t be discouraged if your first attempt isn’t quite up to par – just keep shaking those cocktails until you get your Basil Infused Tom Collins just right!
How To Serve A Tom Collins with Food
One of the great things about the Tom Collins cocktail is that it goes well with a wide range of dishes. Its tart yet refreshingly light and zesty taste pairs well with summer barbecues, rich and flavorful dishes, or lighter fare like salads.
When deciding what to pair with your Basil Infused Tom Collins cocktail, consider the ingredients of the dish as well as its flavor profile. Also, consider where it falls on the spectrum from savory to sweet.
Overall, crafting the perfect Tom Collins cocktail is a delicate balancing act of sweet, tart, and herbal flavor combinations. This Basil infusion adds a unique twist to the classic and is sure to be an absolute crowd pleaser.
We all need a little creativity and added surprise in these uncertain times. This cocktail is perfect for any occasion!
Whether you’re looking to impress at a dinner party, or just wanting something special for yourself, this recipe is sure to deliver. Cheers!
Basil-Infused Tom Collins Cocktail
- 1¼ oz Gin 36ml
- 1 oz simple syrup See *Note, 130ml
- ½ oz fresh lemon juice 15ml
- ½ oz fresh lime juice 15ml
- 4 ea large basil leaves
- 3 oz soda water 90ml
- 1 spear English cucumber thin slice
- 1 sprig basil
- 1. Prepare the garnish:• Cut into thick spears about 1”/2.5cm taller than your glass.• Use a peeler (or mandolin) to thinly slice the cucumber lengthwise.
- 2. Add ice cubes to a collins or large rocks glass. Add the cucumber garnish. If aiming for a swirl of cucumber against the side of the glass, place the cucumber in first – use a chop stick or bar spoon to help position it before adding the ice.
- 3. In a mixing glass, muddle the basil leaves with the simple syrup (see note for homemade syrup).
- 4. Add the lemon juice, lime juice, and gin. Add ice and shake for 30 seconds.
- 5. Strain and pour into the prepared glass. Top with soda water, garnish and serve.
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