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Homage to a Collins Cocktail

Homage to a Collins Cocktail


  • 1 1/2 Ounce Ketel One® Vodka
  • 1 Ounce blood orange juice
  • 1/2 Ounce cinnamon simple syrup
  • dry blood orange soda, to top
  • blood orange wheel, to garnish
  • cinnamon stick, for garnish


Fill an old-fashioned glass with ice. Add Ketel One vodka, blood orange juice and cinnamon simple syrup into glass. Top with dry blood orange soda and stir gently. Garnish with blood orange wheel on the rim of the glass speared by a cinnamon stick.

Vodka Collins Cocktail

The vodka collins is a simple, refreshing, and popular mixed drink. Made with vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup, and club soda, it's really just a sweet and sour vodka soda (and just as easy to mix up). The quick but charming cocktail is a perfect happy hour choice for vodka drinkers, and its clean, crisp taste makes it ideal for dinner.

This recipe follows the formula common in the collins family of drinks: spirit, sour, sweet, soda. It's nearly identical to the Tom Collins (gin) and the John Collins (whiskey) and simply uses vodka as the base spirit. If you want to stick with proper names, this recipe is also called a Joe Collins, though that name is rarely used.

While almost any vodka will do, this drink is rather transparent. It will only be as good as the liquor you pour—there's no way to hide a less-than-stellar vodka choice. That said, you don't have to overthink this. Any of the popular premium vodkas are good options. Choose wisely when it comes to budget-friendly vodkas they're not all worthy of clear drinks like the vodka collins.

Delhi Cooler

London Dry Gin gets an extra splash of botanicals in this cocktail from Chicago’s The Whistler. A spice-rich curry nectar deepens the flavors of tropical pineapple and bright lime juice.


  • 2 oz. London Dry Gin
  • .75 oz. Curry Nectar*
  • .75 oz. Pineapple Juice
  • .75 oz. Lime Juice

Preparation: Add all ingredients to a shaker tin with ice. Shake and strain into a Collins glass with fresh ice.

*Curry Nectar


  • 5 cups Water
  • 1 cup Cumin
  • 1 cup Coriander
  • 1 cup Allspice
  • .5 cup Black Peppercorn
  • 2.5 tbsp. Turmeric
  • 2 Thai Chili Peppers (Stems & Seeds Removed)
  • 5 cups Sugar

Preparation: Add all ingredients except for the sugar to a large pot. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Turn off heat, add sugar and stir to dissolve. Cover and steep an additional 15 minutes. Strain through multiple layers of cheesecloth.

What You Need to Make a Tom Collins

So now we know how to make a Tom Collins, here are our recommendations on what you need to make the cocktail.

Old Tom Gin

First up, you’re going to need your base alcohol: Gin…

What is Old Tom Gin?

Old Tom Gin is NOT a brand of gin – it’s a type of gin.

Old Tom Gin is a Gin recipe that was popular in the 18th Century. It’s sweeter than your standard dry Gin, but drier than the really sweet Dutch Gin, Jenever.

For it’s standing between really dry and really sweet Gin’s, it’s often referred to as the Missing Link.

You may never have heard of Old Tom Gin before with good reason. Old Tom Gin became rare in the 20th Century, but the recent "Craft Cocktail" movement has brought it back in a BIG way.

Our recommendation for Old Tom Gin is:

Lemon Squeezer

So, how are you getting your freshly squeezed lemon juice right now? Are you squeezing a half lemon with your bare hands?

Well, using a handheld lemon squeezer is going to change your life.

I call it a lemon squeezer, but it can be used for pretty much any citrus fruit – though I don’t fancy your chances of cramming a half grapefruit in there…

…ANYWAY, here’s the squeezer we recommend:

Tonic Water

When considering Tonic Water options, I still think you can’t really go wrong with Schweppes.

However, if you’re watching your waistline there’s a contender to the Schweppes:

As I try to lose a little weight, I found myself buying Skinny Tonic Water more and more. It’s very good.

Talking of watching our waistlines, let’s take a look at how many calories there are in a Tom Collins.

Standby’s Corn ‘n Oil

Named for its contrast of light and dark colors, the Corn &lsquon Oil cocktail can be made in a number of ways, depending on who you ask. At Standby in Detroit, bartender Joe Robinson experimented with a few preparation methods before landing on an incredibly refreshing version that&rsquos shaken and served over crushed ice. &ldquoA quick Google search will reveal that most historical recipes suggest a stirred drink, but shaking allows air to get into the cocktail and helps incorporate the ingredients thoroughly and brighten the citrus,&rdquo says Robinson. &ldquoThen we add bitters on top of the ice as homage to the original.&rdquo

1 oz. dark rum
1½ oz. falernum
¾ oz. fresh lime juice
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 oz. black strap rum
Tools: shaker, strainer
Glass: Collins

Combine the dark rum, falernum and lime in a shaker tin with ice. Shake until chilled and strain into a Collins glass. Add crushed ice, then float the black strap and bitters over the top of the drink. Stir to combine before drinking.

  • While we recommend a highball glass, you could use a shorter glass it will just be less diluted as you won’t be able to pour as much soda water in
  • To make your own sugar syrup simply dissolve some sugar in half the weight of water. For approx 100ml of sugar syrup, you would dissolve 100g sugar in 50ml water
  • You can garnish with a wedge of lemon if you prefer or use a Y Peeler to create a twist of lemon peel
  • At some bars this cocktail is garnished with a maraschino cherry, you could also use a dash of the cherry syrup instead of sugar syrup if you prefer

There are lots of stories about the origins of the Tom Collins cocktail. It’s widely believed that it was named after the Great Tom Collins Hoax of 1874 which repeatedly cropped up in bars across New York.

The joke involved someone telling a friend that a man called Tom Collins was speaking badly about them and was sat in another bar. The friend would then rush out in search of Tom Collins.

Jerry Thomas, a famous American mixologist, made a written reference to the cocktail in 1876 but others believe the cocktail was created as early as the 1790s by the barman John Collins at Limmer’s Hotel and Coffee Shop on Conduit Street London, England.

Here’s what you need to make a Tom Collins gin cocktail at home

Mix a classic Tom Collins with the Cocktail Club on Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. Kenji Alt
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The Tom Collins has a long and lustrous history. First among the tall drinks, this highball was referred to as far back as the 1870s by “Professor” Jerry Thomas as a delightful drink of “gin and sparkling lemonade.”

It was originally created with Old Tom gin, a mixing friendly, sweeter version of the now more popular London Dry style. And while it is worthwhile to occasionally mix the more historically accurate and well-textured original version, I hold an abiding preference for the more modern, lean, and linear version with the piercing notes of juniper and bitter lemon that have helped this classic hold sway in era after era of American imbibing. Though the British may claim this drink as their own and the architecture of the drink bears resemblance to the refined gin punches found in the London gentlemen’s clubs of the early 19th century, the exact origin stories put forth have all been debunked. The more likely story of its evolution, recorded in early American cocktail books, is one of it being inspired from afar and perfected here to be sent back out into the cocktail-verse in this enduring presentation.

Can I use a different spirit?

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Today, we are essentially just making lemonade with gin. This is great news! It means that you can substitute practically any spirit you have on hand and it’ll still be good. Lemon is the one ingredient that will work with anything! Sweet or savory. I will always stand by this hot take.

Tequila, whiskey, vodka, brandy, or rum. It may not be a Tom Collins anymore, but it’ll still taste delicious and refreshing.


  • 1 1/2 ounces gin
  • 3/4 ounce lime juice
  • 4 raspberries
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup (1:1, sugar:water)
  • ginger soda

Garnish: orange wheel, lime wheel and a raspberry

  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle raspberries with simple syrup.
  2. Add lime juice, gin and ice and shake until chilled.
  3. Double-strain into a Collins glass over ice.
  4. Garnish with an orange wheel, lime wheel and a raspberry.

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