The classic Tom Collins combines gin, lemon juice, sugar and club soda for a tall and refreshing drink that has quenched thirsts since at least the 19th century. The cocktail has remained a mainstay for a reason, as it’s difficult to improve on the simple formula. But that formula is also a template that talented bartenders can tweak to their tastes, creating unique versions of the Collins that deserve recognition.
The Cucumber & Rose Collins comes from bartending vet Charlotte Voisey, who takes a trip through the garden to concoct this fresh twist. She begins with Hendrick’s gin, a modern-style gin that employs cucumbers and roses in its botanical makeup alongside stalwarts like juniper, coriander and citrus peels. She doubles down with cucumber water and rose syrup before tying it all together with fresh lemon juice.
The cucumber water requires nothing more than a cucumber and a juicer. And you can easily make the three-ingredient rose syrup at home, too, as it’s essentially a rose-flavored simple syrup. Combine sugar, water and rose water in a pan, heat the mixture, then let it cool before use. The syrup will be sweet, floral, fragrant and ready to dose the Cucumber & Rose Collins or any other drink that might benefit from its unique charms.
The Cucumber & Rose Collins is fresh, floral and aromatic. It charts its own path, but with gin, lemon, a sweetener and water, it still hits all the core tenets of the original Tom Collins.
- 1 1/2 ounces Hendrick’s gin
- 1 1/2 ounces cucumber water*
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/2 ounce rose syrup
- Garnish: cucumber slice
Add the gin, cucumber water, lemon juice and rose syrup to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice.
Garnish with a cucumber slice.
*Cucumber water: Wash and chop an English cucumber (leave the skin on) and pass it through a juicer. Use within a day.