Sous Vide Tom Collins Cocktail Recipe with Meyer Lemon

Meyer Lemon Tom Collins

From Silly Libel to Serious Libation

What began as a super lame joke in 1874 is now a classic cocktail of great notoriety. A Tom Collins is a gin cocktail made with lemon juice, sugar, and soda water. When the joke was all the rage in New York and Philadelphia, it went something like this:

Prankster (P): Dude, do you know a Tom Collins?

Butt of the joke (B): Can’t say that I do.

P: Well, you should. This guy is talkin’ some serious trash about you, like that you’re lazy and don’t pay your debts. NOT cool.

B: What! None of that is true. Where can I find this scoundrel?

P: Last I heard he was down at the Billy Goat tossing back a few drinks.

At this point, the butt of the joke tears wildly across town to confront their slanderer. But because there never really was a Tom Collins to begin with, they would simply wander from bar to bar asking for him. Eventually, bartenders capitalized on the hoax by turning it into a drink.     


Prep time: 15 minutes
Sous vide time: 1 hour
Yield: 1 cocktail each for a party of 20



– 1.75 liters of gin
– Soda water for serving
– 1 cup of Meyer lemon juice (use about 6 lemons)
– 2 cups of Meyer lemon rinds (use about 6 lemons)
– 1.5 cups of white granulated sugar
– Ice for serving
– 20 sprigs of thyme for garnish


Nom Tip:

When life hands you lemons, give them back and ask for Meyer lemons. Seriously. It’s a fact that Meyers are sweeter and juicier compared to their ordinary relatives. While regular lemons are available year-round, Meyer lemons are more seasonal. You’re more likely to find them in markets from December through May, with their thin skins ranging in color from deep yellow to orange.

Thought to be a cross between regular lemons and mandarin oranges, the Meyer is a sweet winter citrus with a dark yellow pulp. They’re preferred by chefs and home cooks because they are less acidic than regular lemons and add an extra depth of flavor, especially to cocktails. Famous for its fragrance, the Meyer’s rind has subtle floral notes that pair well with botanicals in gin.


Method for your Tom Collins Sous Vide Cocktail

1. Peel around 6 Meyer lemons and save the rinds. You should have 2 cup’s worth total for the recipe.

2. Squeeze the lemons to make 1 cup of juice.

3. Fill a large sealable glass container with 1.75 liters of gin, the lemon rinds, 1.5 cups of white granulated sugar, and the lemon juice.

4. Tighten the seal of your glass container until you start to feel resistance. Never tighten it all the way. It should be tight enough to prevent water from seeping in but not so tight that air cannot escape during the sous vide process.

5. Gradually bring the glass container up to temperature by putting it in the water bath early. We recommend doing this to prevent thermal shock, which is when glass cracks as a result of rapid changes in temperature. Bring your Nomiku water bath up to 55°C (131°F), then sous vide for 1 hour.

6. When ready, remove the glass container from the water bath and let it cool down before serving.


Method for Serving a Glass Half Full

1. Fill a tall glass halfway with ice.

2. Add in an ounce of your lemon-infused gin and an additional half ounce of Meyer lemon juice.

3. Top it all off with soda water.

4. Garnish the cocktail with a flavorful lemon rind.

5. Take a sprig of thyme and smack it between your hands to release the aromas. Place the sprig on top as a final touch.


Nom Tip:

When making sous vide recipes with glass containers or jars, you’ll need more water and space. Glass is denser than a plastic bag and will displace more water. We recommend using a large plastic tub or a very deep stock pot.


Tags: gin cocktail, meyer lemon, Tom Collins cocktail.