Tom Collins


  • 2 fluid ounces gin
  • 2 fluid ounces lemon juice
  • 1 fluid ounce simple syrup
  • 1 dash bitters
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1/4 cup cold club soda
  • 1 slice lemon, for garnish
  • 1 maraschino cherry


Tom Collins Glass

Preparation instructions:

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in the gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and a dash of bitters. Cover and shake until the outside of the container is frosty, about 15 seconds. Strain into a highball glass full of ice. Top off with club soda and garnish with a lemon slice and maraschino cherry.

Original recipe makes 1 serving

History of the Tom Collins Cocktail

The Tom Collins might have reached its zenith in the years after Prohibition, however it got its start in the 19th century, called after a notorious hoax that spread during the summer of 1874.

The original prank went similar to this:
A buddy would come across you on the road and, with great concern, let you know he just overheard somebody named Tom Collins at a bar down the street stating hateful and libelous things about you. You race to that bar to face the bounder, in which you would be informed that Tom Collins had just left for a bar a few blocks away. When you get there, Collins would probably already have decamped for another joint across the city. While you chase all over the city, your buddies convulse with laughter.

In a little while, not in on the joke, newspapers in cities across the nation were reporting on individuals trying to find the scurrilous guy. "Tom Collins Still Among Us ," the Decatur, Daily Republican noted in June 1874. "This individual kept up his nefarious business of slandering our citizens all day yesterday. But we believe that he succeeded in keeping out of the way of his pursuers. In several instances he came well nigh being caught, having left certain places but a very few moments before the arrival of those who were hunting him. His movements are watched to-day with the utmost vigilance ."

When the papers discovered it had been all a gag, they got in on the act. The Daily Republican kept playing along for several months, gamely reporting that Collins had already been spotted in San Luis Obispo, Calif., on his way to Arizona. "Next spring," the newspaper predicted, Collins "will jauntily enter the South American republics "

It doesn't require much to think of how Tom Collins had become a cocktail. How many occasions does somebody have to barge into a saloon asking for Tom Collins before the bartender takes the chance to offer him or her a cocktail so-named ? Certainly , you need to question if the entire Tom Collins stunt wasn't a marketing trick to boost pub-crawling .