The Tom Collins is a classic Gin-based cocktail with a rich history. This classic was originally named the John Collins after its creator at a popular London Hotel in 1860. The John Collins gained popularity in 1869 after being published in the Steward and Barkeeper’s Manual.
Old Tom Gin was often used as a base for this cocktail. Consequently, the name eventually changed from John Collins to Tom Collins. After making its way to the US in 1876, it was published as Tom Collins first in Jerry Thomas’ Bar-Tenders Guide.
History aside, this cocktail is a perfect example of less is more. Though the Tom Collins only has four components, if made properly it is incredible. You must start by choosing a proper gin. I like to keep it classic and use Hayman’s Old Tom Gin. Second, I add fresh squeezed lemon juice. There is no substitute for fresh juice. Then, I use a rich simple syrup (2:1, sugar: water) for richer flavor and better mouth-feel. To finish, simple add a splash of soda, garnish and enjoy!
1 ½ oz Hayman’s Old Tom Gin
1 oz Lemon Juice
¾ oz Rich Simple Syrup
Top with Splash of Soda
Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker (minus the soda), fill with ice and shake vigorously. Then, strain into a collins glass over fresh ice. Finish with a splash of soda and garnish with Lemon Wheel and Cherry.