Tom (and the poor John) Collins is a sacred cocktail, one of the pillars of the history of mixed drinks, whose recipe dates back to 1800. On the other hand it’s nothing but a lemonade with gin, true, a simple cocktail, but thanks to its fresh and aromatic flavor has become an evergreen, a classic cocktail everyone should know.
We must say to dispel any doubt that Tom & John Collins are practically the same cocktail, same recipe and doses, it just changes the type of gin you have to use, which is the Old Tom Gin, slightly sweetened, for Tom Collins.
Both are part of the prolific Collins family, a kind of cocktail built directly in the glass with a spirit, lime or lemon juice, sugar (syrup) and soda. Pay attention to not confuse them with the Fizz tribe, especially Gin Fizz, which has the same ingredients but it’s shaken, not stirred.
The story of the two cocktail is full of anecdotes, including the most famous, but questioned, that says that John Collins was invented by a certain Tom Collins, head waiter of the Limmer’s Old House, a famous pub in London. That’s all, there are no legends of knights and Dragon fighting for a flaming chalice….
Do not forget that in many countries the John Collins drink is also prepared with bourbon, a practice that has made many think for a long time that John Collins was an American native.
All the Collins prepared with different spirits than gin, assume accordingly the name, as Collins Rum, Vodka Collins and so on…
Tom Collins cocktail ingredients
- 4.5 cl of Old Tom Gin
- 1.5 cl of lemon juice
- 1.5 cl of sugar syrup
- 6 cl of soda
- 1 drop of Angostura
How to prepare the perfect Tom Collins drink
Cut a lemon in half, squeeze and strain the juice.
Fill a highball with ice and pour gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup, mix gently, fill with soda, add a drop of Angostura and decorate with a lemon slice and a Maraschino cherry.
If you can’t find Old Tom gin, let’s sweeten your favorite gin with 1 cl of sugar syrup.
If you want to make the John Collins drink just use normal gin.
Tom Collins food pairings
The good old Tom is perfect for vegetarian dishes, cheese soufflé, pasta with truffles and mushrooms, gnocchi with Gorgonzola, cumin scented chicken skewers.