Before we share our Blood Orange Tom Collins recipe, let us talk about the original for a moment. The origins of the Tom Collins can be broken into two theories. Some believe that the name for the classic gin-lemon-sugar-soda cocktail came from a longstanding New York City joke told in 1874 about a rascal named Tom Collins who traveled the city telling falsehoods. Other drinkers claim the creation ties back to Jim Collins, a London bartender said to have invented the gin-forward cocktail in the 19th Century.
Torn between these two versions, we at TABLE at least know one thing: the Tom Collins is delicious.
To add a bit of winter to this rather summery cocktail, we added a blood orange syrup. The cocktail is an easy, build-as-you-go, no-shaker-needed drink that adds a touch of bright spice to your seasonal happy hours. It’s a spice that in this post-daylight savings world, we all need.
BLOOD ORANGE TOM COLLINS
2 oz gin
1 oz lemon juice
½ oz blood orange syrup
2 dashes of blood orange or orange bitters
Blood orange slice, to garnish
For the syrup: Place one cup of water, one cup sugar, and the peels of four blood oranges in a saucepan and bring to a bottle. When cool, strain the syrup into a jar with a lid. Store in the fridge for a month.
Toss the peels in powdered sugar and let dry on a non-stick Slipmat baking sheet. When dry, store between layers of wax paper. Eat as candy, or chop a few when you’re baking, and add to cookies, brownies, or cakes for a lovely burst of flavor.
For the cocktail: Pour the gin, juice, bitters, and syrup into a tall glass. Fill with ice, top with club soda, and stir. Garnish with a blood orange slice and enjoy!
RECIPE BY MAGGIE WEAVER / PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVE BRYCE