You are what you eat & drink

Meet the Collins Family


Tom Collins

It all started with Old Tom, which is a London Dry Gin, in 1869. That date is set when the recipe for a John Collins (from 1860) called for Old Tom Dry Gin, and John’s name was subsequently dropped in favour of Tom.

Jerry Thomas’ Tom Collins Gin (1876)
(Use large bar-glass.)
Take 5 or 6 dashes of gum syrup.
Juice of a small lemon.
1 large wine-glass of gin.
2 or 3 lumps of ice;
Shake up well and strain into a large bar-glass. Fill up the glass with plain soda water and drink while it is lively.

The Book of Cocktails (1986) provides a modern take on Thomas’ 1876 recipe for this long drink:

John (or Tom) Collins (1986)
ice cubes
2 oz. dry gin
2 oz. lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar (gomme) syrup
soda water
slice of lemon
1 colored cherry
Place ample ice in large glass. Add gin, lemon juice and syrup. Top up with soda water and stir well. Serve with lemon slice, cherry and a straw.

Now for the rest of the Collins Family…

There are several other cocktails made in the same fashion and with the same ingredients as the Tom Collins, with the exception of the base liquor (gin in a Tom Collins).

  • Brandy Collins: with brandy (cognac, armagnac or similar)
  • Juan or José Collins: with tequila
  • Jack Collins: with applejack
  • Jake Collins: with gin and 2 oz. pineapple juice, topped up with soda water and a cherry
  • John Collins: with bourbon or rye whisky
  • Kevin Collins: with Irish whiskey and grenadine syrup instead of sugar syrup
  • Michael Collins: with Irish whiskey, named for the Irish leader Michael Collins
  • Ron Collins: with rum (popular with tourists in Cuba), based on the Spanish word ron for “rum”
  • Sandy Collins or Jock Collins: with Scotch whisky
  • Vodka Collins, Ivan Collins or Comrade Collins: with vodka
  • Phil Collins: with Pisco. Named in Chile for musician Phil Collins.
  • Jallu Collins: with Jaloviina. Enjoyed mainly among Finns
  • Grand Orange Collins: with Grand Marnier, orange juice, lemon juice, Simple Syrup and club soda
  • Russell Collins: with Jägermeister
  • Harry Collins: with whiskey, ginger beer and lime juice instead of lemon
  • Denzel Collins: with the regular soda water being replaced with Pepsi
  • Barnabas Collins: substitutes Sloe Gin for half of the gin in a Tom Collins. Named after the Dark Shadows character.
  • Ben Collins: Mezcal, Mexican lime, sugar, soda water with an orange wedge. Created by Benjamin Minnovoa of Limantour cocktail bar in Mexico City.

Based on info from Wikipedia

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