The Tom Collins is a Collins cocktail made from gin, lemon juice, sugar, and carbonated water. First memorialized in writing in 1876 by Jerry Thomas, “the father of American mixology”, this “gin and sparkling lemonade” drink is typically served in a Collins glass over ice.
There is a story that goes with the cocktail, being over 140 yrs old it could be just a Chinese whisper. But here it goes it’s named after a really lame joke from 1874.
A man would approach his friend and ask, “Have you seen Tom Collins?”
“Why no!” the second man would say. “I have never made his acquaintance.”
“Perhaps you had better do so, and as quick as you can, for he is talking about you in a very rough manner — calling you hard names, and convincing people there is nothing you wouldn’t steal short of a red-hot stove.”
This would upset the second man, who would stomp off to go looking for this rascal Tom Collins, but — twist! — he didn’t actually exist.
It’s a pretty lame joke, but it went viral and became all the rage in New York and Philadelphia. It was so popular, in fact, that it was dubbed “The Great Tom Collins Hoax of 1874.”
Seriously — some newspapers at the time even printed stories containing false sightings of Tom Collins, and several songs were written that memorialised the joke.
Eventually, one intrepid bartender caught on and named a drink “Tom Collins” so that if anyone came rushing into his bar seeking revenge and asking for Tom Collins, they would unknowingly have ordered a tall gin drink instead. So maybr it was just a marketing ploy pre social media.
- 45mL West winds Gin, The Sabre
- 30mL Lemon Juice
- 15mL Simple Syrup
- 60mL Soda
- Dash of bitters
- Maraschino cherry
- Add all ingredients into a mixing glass
- Lightly stir
- Strain into an iced highball