Now Serving – Imperial Collins

By The Gentleman

Imperial Collins

The Tom Collins is a classic cocktail that we’ve already experimented with once before to great results. For our latest drink we thought we’d give Brooklyn Brewshop’s suggestion a go and mix the classic Tom Collins with beer. That’s right, gin and beer, the best of friends! Introducing the Imperial Collins.

Imperial Collins

Imperial Collins

60ml Kangaroo Island Spirits Old Tom Aged Gin

30ml lemon juice

30ml simple syrup

Baird Brewing Suruga Bay Imperial IPA


Lemon slice


In a cocktail shaker, shake together the gin, simple syrup and lemon juice with ice. Shake until it gets real cold. Grab a hi-ball tumbler and add one large ice cube. Make sure it’s a large ice cube otherwise you won’t get the layered effect. Pour in your gin mix. Grab your beer and pour directly onto the ice cube so the beer doesn’t froth up like crazy and you should end up with a nice two-tone layer of gin and beery goodness. Garnish with lemon slice and serve with a straw so you can stir the two together.

Imperial Collins

Damn this looked impressive. The layer effect is really cool and we imagine there is some interesting booze science going on here. Admittedly, I was pretty nervous when it came to pouring in the beer. We had some people over and EVERYONE was watching. It was a high pressure situation, which I thankfully aced and everyone was suitably impressed by my concentration face while pouring and the end results. Get those huge ice cubes and layer it up folks. I’m also quite happy with the little bit of head at the top, it reminds you that it’s beer and adds to the look of the drink, providing a third contrasting colour.

Imperial Collins

Of course what you want to know is did it taste good. The Lady was skeptical, mainly because it was her fancy gin and she treats her gin like it’s her child. She was concerned the beer was just going to make it taste weird, but it doesn’t! The sweeter Kangaroo Island Spirits Old Tom Gin is the perfect accompaniment to the strong Suruga Bay Imperial IPA. The malt and hops, that provided some damn fine flavour to hummus, remain quite prominent but there’s this sweet, citrus component that gets stronger as the drink mixes and mellows out a lot of the bitterness of the beer. A lesser gin would get lost in all those flavours. It’s basically a super-fancy and rather boozy shandy that has some great aromas of citrus and hops. It’s not quite as light and refreshing as a regular Tom Collins, but instead there’s more complexity and a delightfully mixed after taste of citrus and hops.

Imperial Collins

In a lot of ways the Imperial Collins is a fitting drink for us here at the Cocktail Challenge. The Lady is a gin fiend and I’m a beer bandit so the opportunity to combine those two things was just too good to pass up. Hoppy, citrusy, and damn fine to look at the Imperial Collins is successful combination of beer and gin.


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