What Is A Tom Collins?

Picture this: it’s a hot summer day. You’re eight years old and trying to make a dollar or two and decide to make a lemonade stand. Instead of selling your lemonade to strangers who walk by, you end up drinking all of the lemonade to quench your thirst.

Now picture this: a “grown-up” lemonade… now that is a Tom Collins. A Tom Collins is a perfectly refreshing and citrusy drink that reminds many of the classic childhood drink lemonade. A Tom Collins is perfectly bubbly and sweet and can quench your thirst instantly.

Of course, a Tom Collins is much more than lemonade. For one thing, it’s fizzy. Also, a Tom Collins includes gin—so definitely not what you’d be drinking at age eight. But the great thing about a Tom Collins is that you can have as many glasses as you want—you aren’t a kid anymore. We do recommend that you drink responsibly, of course.

A Tom Collins is a fairly simple cocktail. There is practically no reason you can’t make one and enjoy it yourself with only four ingredients. But to make a Tom Collins is one thing; mastering a Tom Collins is a whole other challenge. Let’s just say it takes a lot of focus and the right amount of gin.

Tom Collins not ringing a bell? You may have also heard of a John Collins. They’re basically twins, except that a John Collins is made with bourbon whiskey, whereas a Tom Collins is made of gin—let’s say they’re fraternal.


The origin of the tom collins

The first documentation of a Tom Collins was in 1876 in Jerry Thomas’ book titled “The Bartender’s Guide.” A Tom Collins was named after what some may say was a really lame joke. The joke rose to fame and became so popular in New York and Philadelphia that it was named “The Great Tom Collins Hoax of 1874.” Some newspapers even published joking articles about the sightings of Tom Collins, and people even wrote songs about it too.

The legacy of the Tom Collins continues to live on. The cocktail continues to be a popular drink all across the US. The cocktails are perfect for every occasion, from brunch menus to summer patio cocktail menus and hangouts with your friends.


What alcohol is in a tom collins?

The Tom Collins used to be made with various liquors, and the name of the alcohol used would be placed after the name “Tom Collins.” For example, a Tom Collins made with brandy would have been a Tom Collins Brandy. It was Jerry Thomas who made the Tom Collins solely a gin drink.



The best gin to put in a tom collins

The cocktail takes both the right amount and the right type of gin. If selected properly, the gin in your Tom Collins will provide your drink with a little extra something.

Whichever gin you select for your cocktail, it will still be delicious. Depending on the kind you select, you can achieve a more bitter or more sweet cocktail or even one with earthy or floral notes.

Using Tanqueray No. Ten Gin is always a safe bet in this iconic recipe. This gin is a classic, and you can probably picture the sea-glass green bottle when thinking about it. Tanqueray was established in 1830 by Charles Tanqueray. It is double distilled with juniper, coriander, angelica root, and licorice, and the botanicals will totally elevate your cocktail.

Another classic option that your parents probably rave about is Hendrick’s. Hendrick’s is a Scottish gin that is distilled and infused with cucumber and rose. As an 88 proof spirit, this gin will make your Tom Collins more fun than any lemonade stand you’ve ever had.

For a more colorful take, the sophisticated blue bottle of Bombay Saphire will make you feel way more mature than you actually are. Bombay Sapphire is a ten botanical blend London gin that is 95 proof, and it’s sure to make your Tom Collins stand out.

To elevate the citrusy flavors of your Tom Collins, use St. George Botanivore Gin. Born in the U.S.A. (Alameda, C.A. to be exact), this gin is floral and perfect for spring and summer cocktails – especially this one. This gin has a light touch and embodies a citrus scent and sweet flavor.

Another great gin for a Tom Collins is Seagram’s Gin, one of Saucey’s top sellers. It’s extra dry and full of rich flavors, making it perfect for any and every cocktail that screams for gin.


Other tom collins ingredients

It’s important to have all the right fixings for your Tom Collins. In addition to your gin, you need three other simple yet essential ingredients to perfect this classic drink.

First, club soda is essential. This is where things get bubbly. Unflavored club soda works perfectly, but if you really want to get fancy, you can use sparkling water. Just be sure not to use tonic water or seltzer because club soda and tonic water are different things.

Simple syrup is also pretty essential here. Think you’re a master of mixes? Then there’s a simple syrup that’s practically named after you (no, literally, it is). Master of Mixes Cocktail Essentials Simple Syrup is made from 100% cane sugar and is essential in a Tom Collins.

A Tom Collins truly makes lemonade out of lemons. This means that you will indeed need both lemon juice and a single lemon wedge for when you’re feeling fancy. Also, you’ll definitely need some ice to keep this drink cool and you feeling refreshed.


How to make a tom collins

Let the cocktail-making be-gin. While there are many Tom Collin recipes, here is the Tom Collins Recipe we swear by. We’ve made it pretty easy for you. You’ve got the list of ingredients, a phenomenal recipe, AND easy delivery.

As with any good cocktail, you need the proper glassware. This leads us to our final tip for great success with your adult lemonade stand. Make sure that you use a Collins glass. This cylindrical tumbler is used for mixed drinks, and it’s generally taller than a highball glass. The proper glassware can seriously elevate your cocktail, so it’s worth finding the right cup. It’s like not serving your lemonade in a dixie cup; it’s just wrong.

The recipe itself is pretty simple—just fill your Collins glass with ice and set it aside. Then, add the simple syrup, lemon juice, and gin into a shaker, add ice, and give it a good shake. Strain the mixture into your glass, top with club soda, garnish, and go.

If you notice that you’re missing any of these ingredients, we have a solution. Saucey can bring you practically the entire liquor store, all while you sit on your couch or are hanging out with friends. Our delivery is fast, easy, and convenient, meaning you can have a Tom Collins at the snap of your fingers whenever you’d like.


The takeaway

Like that lemonade stand when you were a kid, a Tom Collins has the power to bring people together. With summer right around the corner, it’s time to perfect your mixology skills, and there is no better place than to start with this classic.

We’ve made it pretty darn easy for you. But like a kid who grows up, you’re going to need to be on your own at some point. This is that point in time. We wish you all the best, enjoy the refreshing cocktail, and try not to cry ugly when the feelings of nostalgia come flooding back. Drink responsibly with Saucey.


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