Classic: Bitter Tom

Everyone knows the classic Tom Collins by now – a refreshingly sweet hard lemonade that’s perfect on a hot summer day. But what if you’re in the mood for something bitter… and maybe even better?

Photos by ADV Photography

Brad Farren, of the Clover Club in Brooklyn, is apparently quite regularly in that mood. From an interview with StarChefs:

I very much enjoy bitter flavors. My favorite drinks to create are those that sort of combine a bitter element and make it more approachable for people who aren’t necessarily as gung-ho about bitter flavors. I like bringing it out there because I feel that bitter is one of those flavors that is really sort of misunderstood. People sort of take a cautious if not outright hostile approach to bitter flavors. It’s more among patrons than bartenders. The general public is suspicious of bitter flavors.”

A man after my own heart.

According to PUNCH, Farren worked with Kevin Diedrich to perfect their bitter take on the old classic.


2 oz gin
½ oz Campari
¾ oz lemon juice
½ oz simple syrup
1 tsp Benedictine
1 tsp pomegranate molasses
1 oz club soda
Grapefruit twist

Add all ingredients except soda and grapefruit twist to a shaker with ice but don’t shake. Roll the ingredients back and forth from one half of the shaker to the other (or use another tall glass if you’re using a cobbler shaker). Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass. Top with club soda and garnish with a grapefruit twist.


It would probably be fair to guess that pomegranate molasses may not be too easy to get your hands on, right? Don’t worry, I also tried it with regular molasses and you’ll be happy to know, that while not quite as good, this substitute also worked very well. No excuses for not trying this one!

You Might Also Like