It’s still hot in Portland, Oregon. Having recently spent many days where the temperatures were 95-107, this 90-degree weather is not unbearable . . . but it is still hot.
And hot weather calls for cool cocktails, preferably enjoyed on your front porch or your backyard. Enter: the Backyard Collins.
The Backyard Collins is a drink created by Genevieve Brazelton, former bartender extraordinaire and creator of The Bitter Housewife, a line of handcrafted bitters with an awesomely clever name. It’s a take on the classic Tom Collins, which consists of lemon juice, simple syrup, gin, and club soda.
The Backyard Collins version includes a citrus-rosemary simple syrup along with The Bitter Housewife Cardamom Bitters.
I made this last week during the peak of our heat wave, and it was such a lovely treat to help wind down a long, hot day. The citrus-rosemary simple syrup is very easy to make, and adds an extra refreshing summer citrus zing to this cocktail. If you love citrus drinks, I think you will love this Backyard Collins. The amount of gin isn’t too overpowering, but it’s enough to definitely let you know: this is a cocktail, not just a fancy lemonade.
I’m already thinking of other ways I can use the citrus-rosemary simple syrup, too. It’s so good!
The Bitter Housewife Cardamom Bitters
The Cardamom Bitters add a touch of spice and really complement the citrus-rosemary simple syrup.
The Bitter Housewife currently offers three different bitters: Cardamom Bitters, Aromatic Bitters, and Grapefruit Bitters. Each is handcrafted in small batches in Portland, Oregon, and made from natural ingredients, without harsh extracts or processed flavors. The result is a clean, distinct bitter that helps you make a fabulous cocktail at home. Most cocktail recipes call for just a dash or teaspoon of bitters, and these particular bitters do an excellent job of bringing out the best of the flavors of each cocktail — without leaving you with a sugar coated mouthfeel that other bitters can.
And, even though you only use a small amount of bitters per drink, the specific bitters you use for each recipe matter. I made the mistake of using the cardamom bitters in another recipe that actually called for the grapefruit bitters (which I will be sharing later), and it created a totally different cocktail. Then when I corrected with the grapefruit bitters, the “A-HA!” moment hit and that cocktail totally made more sense.
A little, as they say, goes a long way and makes a big difference.
If you like gin drinks, specifically the Tom Collins, I think you’ll love this citrus version of it!
Backyard Collins Recipe
- 1.5 oz gin
- 1 oz citrus-rosemary syrup*
- 1 teaspoon Bitter Housewife Cardamom bitters
- 4 oz tonic water
- Pour gin, syrup, and bitters into a collins glass.
- Add ice, top with soda and stir.
- *Bring 3/4 cup orange juice, 1/4 lemon juice, a generous handful of rosemary sprigs (4-6), and 2 cups of sugar to a simmer. Cook until sugar is dissolved, then cool.
Do you enjoy gin drinks? If not, what are your favorite types of cocktails?
Disclosure: I was given samples of The Bitter Housewife to try without any expectation of coverage. As always, I only write about products, events, services, etc. that I personally enjoy and believe you will love too! All opinions and photos are my own.