Chamomile Elderflower Tom Collins

The Tom Collins is definitely one of my favorite summer cocktails. It’s dry, citrusy, bright, fizzy and refreshing. It was a very popular drink in the late 19th century and first appeared in print in Jerry Thomas’ Bartenders guide in 1876. It’s a very simple classic cocktail consisting of gin, lemon, sugar, and club soda—almost like a fizzy gin lemonade. Who doesn’t need some booze in their lemonade on a hot summer day? I’ve made a slight adjustment to this classic and replaced the sugar with a chamomile flower-infused honey syrup and added elderflower liqueur for a thirst quenchingly good summer cocktail.

Chamomile Elderflower Tom Collins, serves one

1 1/2 oz. gin
1/2 oz. elderflower liqueur
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz. chamomile honey syrup
club soda
honey
chamomile flowers

When I make honey syrup, I do a 3:1 ratio of honey to water. You’re just diluting the honey so that it’s easier to work with, and you don’t want it to lose flavor by adding too much water. I combined 12 oz. of honey and 4 oz. of water in a pot and added 2 tablespoons of dried chamomile flowers. You can also use chamomile tea bags if that’s easier, but I feel that using the dried flowers yields the best flavor. Let it simmer on the stove for 10 minutes and then remove from heat and let completely cool. Strain the syrup over a bowl with a fine strainer to remove the flowers.

To make the cocktail, add gin, elderflower liqueur, lemon, and chamomile honey syrup to your shaker, add ice and shake. Strain into your desired serving vessel. A Collins is usually served in a Collins/highball glass, but I couldn’t resist putting them in this glass (similar ones here!) because of the flowers on it. It was big enough so I still had room to top with soda. I thought I’d link to them since everyone always loves my glassware. 😉

I’m completely in love with how simple and delicious this drink was. It was slightly sweeter than your traditional Tom Collins because of the honey but wasn’t overpowering. The chamomile brought a floral and herbal element to this drink that was so refreshing and complemented the other ingredients perfectly. I also like how it’s a combination of lemonade and sweet tea. I will definitely be making a few more of these before summer is over. I hope you will too! Cheers everyone. xo Natalie

Credits // Author and Photography: Natalie Jacob. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.