The most interesting thing about the Tom Collins Cocktail is the mystery surrounding its origin. The drink is associated, for most people, with the Irish political activist (although not well known) who died during the Irish rebellion in 1798. There was, however, a drink called John Collins since the 1860s, which was named after a head waiter working at the Limmer’s Old House in Mayfair. There was also a hoax story associated with Tom Collins that began in 1874 as a way to propagate the cocktail, wherein people would begin a conversation with random people on the streets asking them if they have seen Tom Collins. The drink went on to become “a favourite drink in demand everywhere” according to the 878 edition of The Modern Bartender’s Guide, with Tom Collins being considered a fancy drink. With several variations to the drink, the drink became very famous with people substituting the base liquor with various other liquors. The original Tom Collins Cocktail recipe, however, included gin as the base liquor, with the other ingredients used to make the cocktail.
To make the Tom Collins Cocktail, add the sugar syrup (or powdered sugar as substitute) along with lemon juice in a Collins glass. Pour the gin into the mix. Add in some ice in the glass and garnish the cocktail with mint sprigs, lemon wedge, or maraschino cherries. You can also add some soda into the mix as an alternative recipe.