The Tom Collins

by Will on September 15, 2010

When I was young, I recall that Tom Collins mix was something frequently in the fridge, competing for space with the orange juice and whipped cream and the like. So it was inevitable that I would try a Tom Collins at some point. I like them, and moreover they’re one of several good ways to wean people off of vodka (boring!) and on to gin (it actually has a flavor and scent — imagine that!).

In the day, by which I mean, late 2009, there was Schweppes Tom Collins mix at most stores. You just mixed it with gin and there was your Tom Collins. But then, for reasons unknown, Schweppes discontinued it’s mix. But that’s OK, because fresh ingredients make a better drink anyway.

1 1/2 oz. gin

1 oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1 oz. simple syrup

Mix ingredients, serve in Tom Collins glass on ice, topped off with club soda

The name Tom Collins comes from a weird joke that was popular in New York in 1860 or so. You’d run into someone and tell them that Tom Collins had been talking a lot of smack about them. Then you’d tell them that Tom Collins was hanging out at the bar around the corner. So your victim would go looking for a non-existent person. What is supposed to be funny about that, I’m not sure. There was not a lot to do back then.

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