• Photo by MG Studios, Las Vegas
    Tapatio Rojo Photo by MG Studios, Las Vegas
  • Photo by MG Studios, Las Vegas
    Contemporary Collins Photo by MG Studios, Las Vegas
  • Photo by MG Studios, Las Vegas
    Classic Collins Photo by MG Studios, Las Vegas
  • Photo by MG Studios, Las Vegas
  • Photo by MG Studios, Las Vegas
  • Photo by MG Studios, Las Vegas
  • Christy Grosz

The Collins is another classic with a somewhat confusing past. The original cocktail was named for its creator, John Collins, who was a bartender in a London hotel in the early 1800s. His recipe, which combines dry gin, lemon juice, sugar, and club soda, is identical to a fizz, except that it is served in a tall Collins-style glass with a garnish of an orange wheel and a cherry. The Collins is also closely tied to the sour but includes club soda, a new addition to the barkeeper’s repertoire in the late 19th century.

Somewhere along the way, near the end of the century, Old Tom–style gin, a lightly sweetened spirit, was substituted for dry gin, and the drink became known as a Tom Collins to distinguish the two recipes. Although Old Tom disappeared from the market during the 20th century, the British distiller Hayman’s reintroduced its original recipe a few years ago.

Learning to perfect a classic like the Collins is a great way to build skills as a home bartender, even if Old Tom is difficult to find, according to Albert. "Start re-creating some classic cocktails and discover why they are balanced by tasting them and making them," she says. "And begin a library at home that includes classic cocktail books and ones that are out on the market currently and start studying."

By Chandra Lam
2 oz. Old Tom–style gin or spirit of choice
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
1–2 tsp. superfine sugar

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into an ice-filled Collins glass. Top off with club soda, stir, and serve. Garnish with a lemon wheel and a cocktail cherry.

By Michael Trujillo
11/2 oz. 100% agave unaged tequila
1/2 oz. St. Germain elderflower liqueur
2 oz. hibiscus tea
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz. agave nectar

Stir all ingredients together in an ice-filled Collins glass and serve with a splash of ginger ale. Garnish with lemon and lime wheels.

By Francesco Lafranconi
2 oz. soju
1 oz. Aperol aperitivo liqueur
1/2 oz. yuzu juice
1/2 oz. agave nectar
2 halved strawberries
2 halved lemon wedges
Fever Tree bitter lemon soda

Squeeze lemon wedges into a Collins glass and drop in to garnish. Pour the rest of the ingredients into glass and fill with ice. Stir well and serve.

El Tesoro Plata Tequila
Tequila Ocho Single Estate Plata Tequila
Ty Ku Soju

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