The Tom Collins is arguably the most well-known member of the Collins family of cocktails. In general, a Collins refers to a type of sour cocktail, which involves a spirit mixed with sugar and citrus, served in a tall glass over ice and topped with soda water. In essence, it's a spirited sparkling lemonade.
The origin of the Tom Collins is a subject of debate. According to drinks historian David Wondrich, the drink likely evolved from the gin punches that gained popularity in the early 19th century. A common story attributes its creation to an inventive bartender named John Collins, who worked at Limmer's Hotel in London and named the concoction after himself. However, it's debatable whether Collins actually invented this combination of ingredients or merely played a role in popularising it. Regardless, these early versions of the cocktail were typically made with either genever or Old Tom gin, which eventually led to it being known as a Tom Collins rather than a John Collins.
50ml London Dry Gin
25ml Lemon Juice
25ml Sugar Syrup
Soda Water, to top
Garnish: Lemon Wheel and Mascharino Cherry