Essentially fizzy lemonade for adults, a Tom Collins is made from gin, lemon juice, sugar and carbonated water. Based on the original “John Collins” cocktail, the drink was renamed when Jerry Thomas included it in his 1876 Bartender’s Guide, based on a popular prank of the day, in which people tried to convince their friends someone named Tom Collins was spreading slander about them. The original version called for Old Tom gin and Oleo-Saccharum syrup, but the modern Collins is typically made with London Dry Gin and simple syrup.
Mix it Up
The original recipe calls for Old Tom Gin and Oleo-Saccharum syrup, which add extra dimensions to the drink. For a refreshing twist, try muddling fresh cucumber with your syrup and juice before adding the gin and garnish the drink with fresh mint.
Think of the Whiskey Sour as a citrusy version of the Old Fashioned. Fresh lemon juice makes it the perfect complement to sunny, Southern-fried days and the kind of humidity they invented cornstarch for. Many bartenders add egg whites, but the earliest printed recipe (in Jerry Thomas’ 1862 tome The Bartenders Guide) doesn’t call for th...