Cocktail of the Month – Tom Khallins

Mad Men meets classic Thai flavors in this cocktail recipe

TomKhallins1 Cocktail of the Month   Tom Khallins

The return of Mad Men has conjured up some major cocktail fever. When Episode 3, The Collaborators, happened to show my own favorite mid-century cocktail glasses, I took it as a sign.

The Tom Khallins is a recipe I have played with a few different versions of, and this particular one is an easy way to whip up a cocktail incarnation of the Thai coconut-based tom kha soup. I used the classic Tom Collins recipe as inspiration – albeit with a few generous liberties.

There’s one thing you need to know. It’s white. White in a way that you aren’t used to seeing in a cocktail. Don’t let the color throw you off. This drink isn’t cloyingly sweet; it’s actually quite light and refreshing. Yep, it’s a white cocktail. Don’t knock it ’til you try it!

The Tom Khallins Cocktail Recipe

TomKhallins2 Cocktail of the Month   Tom Khallins

1 oz Hendrick’s gin
3 oz Coconut milk
1 1/2 oz ginger ale
Small lime, cut into wedges

Note: I tend to like using some strange ingredients in my recipes, so I thought I would take it easy on you guys this time. The weirdest thing would be coconut milk, which you can find with other milk substitutes like soy and almond in your grocery store’s refrigerated section. Just don’t go for the coconut milk from a can that you use in curries though, okay?!

I know, I know…you’re thinking, “Great, something specific I need to buy.” But, you can find other uses for it as well. I started using milk substitutes for everyday use because the real deal wasn’t going over so well, and eventually settled for the coconut version because it 1) was delicious and 2) went really well with cereal. It has also been pretty successful in crepes and baked goods. So don’t think of it as something you have to buy just for a cocktail. It’s so much more useful than that.


1. Fill a tumbler and a cocktail shaker with ice.

2. Pour the liquid ingredients into the shaker, then squeeze one lime wedge in as well. Shake well.

3. Pour the contents into the tumbler and garnish with another lime wedge.

TomKhallins3 Cocktail of the Month   Tom Khallins

Tip: I recommend my favorite gin, Hendrick’s, for this (and all cocktail) recipes. It’s not juniper-forward like a lot of gins, so you won’t end up with a pine tree flavored cocktail. Swap out at your own risk!

Readers – what are your favorite Mad Men era cocktails?

Heather blogs at foodforfunandpleasure and is a spice mistress extraordinaire at the Spice Station in Silverlake, CA.

photos: heather for we heart this

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Written by heather


  1. Profile photo of amity

    Oh, I am so excited to try this! It looks like the perfect combo of creamy/tropical/fizzy. And you’re so right about the coconut milk–its really good and works in many different contexts. Thanks for such a unique recipe—

  2. Profile photo of marissa

    Great drink recipe! This sounds perfect to serve at a patio party or the beach. Love that you used coconut milk, too. I made the switch to non-diary milk within the last year and couldn’t be happier. Those wary of buying a large container could opt for the shelf-stable options, which come in a smaller package. You’re so right, though @heather, there are some great uses for it!

  3. Profile photo of lyssachelle

    AHHHH! Tom kha gai is my favorite soup in the entire world, I actually just made some the other night! I know I’d love this cocktail; I was a Tom Collins (and John Collins and Juan Collins) drinker for years, so this variation sounds delicious.

    And I’d like to add another coconut milk tip; I’m lactose intolerant so I like to keep it on hand to substitute for dairy in recipes, but I got tired of never using up a can of it. I ended up ordering coconut milk powder online and haven’t regretted it for a moment. It’s super easy to mix up a bit when I need coconut milk for beverages and use just a little more when I need it thicker for soups and baking. I bought a big bag, but I know it’s available in smaller sizes, even 1 ounce envelopes!

  4. Profile photo of Marilyn

    I have issues with cow’s milk too, so I’m loving everyone’s tips on using coconut milk (not the canned kind)! Heather, I love that your recipe is so helpful with tips on which kind of gin, the color, and coconut milk. Really well thought out :) I’m a huge fan of vintage cocktails. Blood and Sand is my favorite I think (scotch, blood orange juice, cherry heering, sweet vermouth). And the name just SOUNDS COOL.

  5. Profile photo of sherrishera

    I, too, think this looks amazing (and great take on the name!) but I’ll bet @lipglossandspandex is absolutely right about using ginger beer instead of Schwepps or Canada Dry, etc. ginger ales. Those regular ginger ales don’t pack much ginger, owing their sugary-sweet flavor to artificial means and their color a Carmel-thing. Reed’s ginger beer is great. Also fab is Fever Tree ginger ale AND beer… Their ginger ale is like a ginger beer, and their ginger beer is SERIOUS ginger (mouth-warming-whoa variety). Yeah, this fab a drink deserves big gingery punch! Great recipe…can’t wait to try!

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