You don’t have to be an expert cocktail shaker to make a good Tom Collins. Most people will agree: it’s very hard to make a bad one.
A Tom Collins is a drink for pleasure and leisure, to be enjoyed with friends in a relaxed atmosphere. The exact quantities of this or that don’t matter here. Just chill out and enjoy your cocktail.
- 2 oz gin
- 1 oz lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon icing sugar
- Soda water
Shake the gin, lemon juice and icing sugar together. Strain into an ice-filled Collins or highball glass. Top with soda water. Enjoy.
A Collins glass is a long narrow tumbler, usually taller than a highball glass.
The only difference between a Tom Collins and a Gin Fizz lies in the serving: a Gin Fizz is served in a short glass without ice.
Most sources suggest that this cocktail got its name by combining the name of the bartender who is said to have invented it – John Collins – with the name of the gin used at one time in its making – Old Tom. But we prefer this more fanciful and fun story.
In 1874, a notorious hoax was played across America. It involved an individual being told that Tom Collins was in the bar down the road making slanderous comments about him. When the victim rushed to the bar, he was told that Tom Collins had already left but was heading to …wherever. What started as a small joke played on friends developed into a nationwide hoax with the encouragement of national newspapers who reported the latest sightings of the scoundrel.
It’s fun to think of a wily bartender coming up with the idea of creating a Tom Collins cocktail so that when the next person rushed in demanding to see Tom Collins, he could be persuaded to buy the drink of that name instead!