Drinks expert Alice Lascelles showcases this all-time classic and three twists
Refreshing, easy to make and incredibly versatile, the Collins is one of those drinks that everyone should have under their belt. The original Tom Collins was probably made with genever (the Dutch precursor to gin) or Old Tom gin, which was a sweeter style of gin that was popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. Both of these would have given the drink a sweeter flavour than modern-day gins, which are much more crisp. But that classic formula of spirit, citrus, sugar and soda is one that works with just about any spirit from dry gin and light rum to tequila and even cognac.
SERVES 1 PREP 10 mins COOK 2 mins EASY V
25ml lemon juice 25ml sugar syrup (see recipe, below) 125ml chilled soda water
Build the drink over plenty of ice in a Collins glass, stir gently and garnish with a slice of lemon.
GOOD TO KNOW vegan
• gluten free
PER SERVING 201 kcals • fat none • saturates none
• carbs 17g • sugars 17g • fibre none • protein none
• salt none
Make a sugar syrup Dissolve 300g caster sugar in 150ml water over a low heat. Leave to cool and bottle. Will keep indefinitely.