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Author Notes: Making cocktails for a crowd? Lower the fuss and spread out the fun with this build-your-own-beverage twist on the classic Tom Collins. Set up a drink-making station with fresh citrus, a variety of herb-infused simple syrups, soda water, white rum (and/or the traditional gin), fresh herbs for garnish, and a large bowl of ice. Make a display card with the basic recipe (see below) and let each person create their own collins. Try grapefruit, oranges, lemons, and limes for the citrus paired with rosemary, thyme, lavender, and mint simple syrups. Create the herb-infused simple syrups up to a week in advance, slice up some citrus, and let your partygoers do the fixing and mixing. —Chase the Flavors
Serves a crowd!
The cocktail itself is quick and easy: white rum, citrus, simple syrup, ice, and herbs for garnish.
- 1 1/2 ounces white rum (or the traditional gin)
- 1 ounce citrus juice
- 1/2-1 ounces herb infused simple syrup (quick recipe below)
- 1-1 1/2 ounces soda water, to taste
- fresh herbs, for garnish
- Put those extra canning jars to work. This recipe is for an 8 ounce drink, perfect for a 1/2 pint jar. Combine rum, citrus juice and simple syrup in an ice filled glass and stir. Add soda water to taste then garnish with fresh herbs.
sugar, water, and a variety of herbs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- roughly 1/4 cups herb of choice (8 thyme sprigs or 4 rosemary sprigs or 1/4 cup dried lavender buds or 1/3 cup packed mint leaves)
- Combine sugar, water and herb of choice in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and stir frequently until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, cover and let cool to room temperature. Strain into a clean glass jar or bottle. Refrigerate for up to 1 week.
- This is a starting point for basic herb-infused simple syrup, but the skies the limit!