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Tom Collins

Tom Collins is a sort of Collins cocktail, which is fixed by combining gin with sugar, lemon juice, and carbonated water. The drink basically has sour base and it was popularized in America by the Vets who returned from World War I and World War II. The drink achieved cult popularity in 1950’s, but faced a major setback sometime later. Today it has resurged with an undeniable interest like never before. Some popular variants of the drink include: John Collins (or Colonel Collins), Ron Collins (Tex Collins), Brandy Collins, Michael Collins, Jallu Collins, and Juan Collins. These drink variations are named on the basis of the alcoholic ingredients and other combining ingredients used for their preparation.

Origin of Tom Collins Recipe
The Tom Collins was first created in tribute of the false hoax syndrome of 1870’s which was also known by the same name. The first cocktail recipe for this kind of drink was first published in the 1876 edition of Jerry Thomas “The Bartenders Guide”. This drink was largely distinguished from another popular cocktail Gin Fizz by the addition of Sparkling Lemonade-Gin mixture “and the whole mixture was sweetened by adding gum syrup. The type of the gin used for the preparation of Tom Collins was not mentioned in the book but it is believed that either English dry gin or the Holland gin might have been used for the preparation. The food experts are strongly vouching for Holland gin because it was largely imported to US than the English Dry Gin. It is believed that the cocktail was popularly served in the bars across New York. The 1878 edition of the Modern Bartenders Guide indicated that this cocktail has gained or at times surpassed popularity of the Brandy. By 1891, the basic recipe underwent many changes like gum syrup was replaced with sugar and old Tom Gin. And by the turn of the century the lemon juice was replaced by lime juice.

There are also conflicting anecdotes regarding the origin of the drink. In 1891, British Physician Sir Morell Mckenzie expressed in Fortnightly Review that Tom Collins drink was born in England and it was created by a person called John Collins. There were many counter debates against this particular report. But with the passage of time interest in drink slowly fizzed out.

Tom Collins Recipe
The drink is fixed by combining: gin, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, and chilled club soda. These ingredients are mixed together in a glass and served after topping with lemon juice and maraschino cherry.

Popular Tom Collins Drink Variants

  • Ron Collins: This is one of the popular Tom Collins variants where the drink is fixed by replacing the gin with light rum. Rest all ingredients like lime juice, sugar, and club soda remains the same.
  • John Collins: This is one of the popular drink variants which call for the usage of Bourbon whiskey in place of the gin. Other than that the combining ingredients like fresh lime juice, sugar, and club soda remains the same.
  • Tex Collins: This popular Tom Collins drink variants calls for the usage of fresh grapefruit juice in place of the regular lime juice and the drink is sweetened with honey and club soda is added to it.