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Manly Mixology: The Tom Collins

November 15, 2017
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What makes a drink manly? Is it the people who drink them? Is it the level of alcohol? The simplicity? It’s all personal opinion, really. A lot of people would not think that the Tom Collins is a particularly manly drink because it’s basically gin and lemonade. But let's face it: Sometimes you need something a little more sophisticated than a corona cocktail. With the Tom Collins, we’re talking about a drink that has been around for over 150 years, and that led to one of the most famous hoaxes in history. Yeah, we thought that might get your attention,

Have You Seen Tom Collins?

In 1874, New York, a hoax was born. People would walk up to unsuspecting friends or strangers and ask “Have you seen Tom Collins?” The friend would answer that they had not and they didn’t know who Tom Collins was. The hoaxer would then explain that Tom was just around the corner sitting at a local bar. Apparently, Tom would be sitting there in the bar making outrageous statements about the poor listener.The idea was to get the listener furious, “How dare Tom Collins slander my good name!” they would yell before running into the bar and demanding to talk to Tom Collins … Who didn’t exist. Okay so it’s not a great hoax, but it became a sort of meme. Newspapers got in on the act, publishing claims to have seen Tom Collins in certain locations. The joke became famous and probably led to at least a few fights. And a fist fight over something like that in a bar followed by some serious drinking is definitely manly enough for us!

How to make a Tom Collins

Anyway, now that you are aware of the rich (and incredibly manly) history of this drink, you’re probably itching to get started. Traditionally, you are supposed to use a gin called Old Tom, which was first distilled in the 18th Century in London. This is a slightly sweeter version you could also use.The ingredients for a Tom Collins are as follows:

  • 2 parts Gin
  • 1 part Simple Syrup (sugar water)
  • 1 part lemon juice
  • Club Soda
tom collins

You can garnish the glass with an orange or lemon slice, or you can add a maraschino cherry, or just leave it and do some push-ups instead for extra manly points.The first thing that you need to do is make a Simple Syrup. Pour equal parts water and sugar into a saucepan and heat it until the sugar has completely dissolved. Allow it to cool, and then pour it into a cocktail shaker. Add the juice of a lemon and then the gin. The ratio for gin, syrup, and lemon juice should be 2:1:1. Put some ice in the shaker too and then shake for around 20 seconds.Pour the mixture into a highball glass and add some ice cubes, then top up the glass with club soda and garnish with an orange slice. You now have the perfect Tom Collins. To complete the effect, go start a fight in a bar by asking strangers if they’ve heard what Tom has been saying about them. Actually, what he told us about you, was pretty scathing--just saying.

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