Cocktails for Summer: The Collins

It is said that the Tom Collins was first devised by a bartender named John Collins who used a type of gin called Old Tom that was slightly sweeter than the London Dry variety. Another origin story points to a practical joke popular in 1870s America in which the prankster would ask his mark if he knew Tom Collins, who would be purported to be in the nearest bar spreading vicious rumors. The object of the hoax would then rush off in a huff to search for the elusive Mr. Collins, making a fool of his or herself. In fact, around this time, several newspapers propagated the joke by printing stories containing false accounts of encounters with this character.

Here are the ingredients

Fresh lemon juice
Simple syrup (one part water, one part sugar)
Gin
Club soda

A Collins consists of two parts gin, one part freshly squeezed lemon juice, and a drizzle of simple syrup mixed with ice in a glass, topped with soda water and garnished with a lemon, cherry or lime. In place of gin, other spirits such as vodka, tequila, Scotch, Irish whiskey, bourbon or Jack Daniel’s can be used.

Standard garnish

Lemon slice
Maraschino cherry

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