2 oz old tom gin
¾ oz lavender syrup
¾ oz grapefruit juice
½ oz lime juice
chilled soda water
lavender sprig or flowers of any kind for garnish
In a shaker, combine gin, grapefruit, lime and lavender syrup. Fill with ice and shake for 3-4 seconds. Strain into a collins or highball glass over fresh ice, top with about 2 oz of soda water. Garnish with the spring flora of your choice.
If you make a Willow's Fizz, let me see!
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On February 26th, 2013, my first daughter, Willow, was born. About 6 Weeks later we launched a new spring menu at Clover Club. Naturally, my little baby girl was pretty much all I was thinking about back then, so it was a given that I was going to design a drink and name a drink after her. It was just a question of what it would be.
The Willow’s Fizz is a simple variation on a Tom Collins that uses old tom gin and features grapefruit and lavender as it’s primary flavors. To my surprise and delight it has gone on to become one of the most popular drinks I've ever had on Clover's menu.
I’m always biased towards my drinks, but particularly so in this case. I love this cocktail. The sharp, bitter edge of the two citrus juices helps support the delicately floral lavender which - when combined with the bubbles - gives the drink an almost ethereal quality. It's the perfect cocktail for spring, particularly if you have some fresh cut wildflowers to use as a garnish.
Old Tom Gin Replacements
The kernel of the idea came from my then boss, now partner, Julie Reiner. Tanqueray had just released their Malacca expression which was in the old tom gin arena - softer, sweeter and more floral notes than traditional London Dry gin. She said she wanted to make some sort of collins with it, perhaps with grapefruit. I took that and ran with it.
The Willow's Fizz still returns to Clover Club's menu every Spring. Unfortunately, Tanqueray Malacca is not available anymore, so now we use Hayman’s Old Tom Gin, though any clear, unaged old tom will work - Gin Lane makes a good one. If you don’t have old tom gin, you can use a softer London dry gin, like Gordon’s, and add about a teaspoon to ¼ oz of simple syrup.
1 cup of fresh lavender sprigs or 1/2 cup dried lavender buds
2 cups boiling water
Sugar (about 1¾ cups)
Steep the lavender in the water for 30 minutes. Strain out the lavender and add equal parts sugar to water - it will be slightly less than 2 cups because some will have been absorbed - and stir until dissolved. Refrigerate.