This Weekend’s Cocktail Is Yesterday’s Tom Collins

This week, our neighborhood cocktailian at Underhill-Lounge has gone deep into the history of the Tom Collins via the 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book, which included this Friday-friendly recipe:

Tom Collins Whiskey.
(Use small bar-glass.)
Take 5 or 6 dashes of gum syrup.
Juice of a small lemon.
1 large wine-glass of whiskey.
2 or 3 lumps of ice.

Shake up well and strain into a large bar-glass. Fill up the glass with plain soda water and imbibe while it is lively.

Tom Collins Brandy.
(Use large bar-glass.)
The same as Tom Collins Whiskey, substituting brandy for whiskey.

Tom Collins Gin.
(Use large bar-glass.)
The same as Tom Collins Whiskey, substituting gin for whiskey.

PHOTO: Tom Collins by Underhill-Lounge

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8 thoughts on “This Weekend’s Cocktail Is Yesterday’s Tom Collins

  1. Try any of the above with applejack – you will not be disappointed! This country was practically built on (or rather under the influence of) applejack and yet it has virtually disappeared from our cocktails. Laird’s is the only company still making an affordable brand and it is tasty. My gift to the Bernalwood readers is variation on the Perfect Manhattan I call (wait for it):

    The Big Apple:
    2oz applejack
    .5 oz vermouth mix (say 2/3 dry to 1/3 sweet)
    orange bitters to taste

    shake 15 to 20 seconds, let rest while prepping a cocktail glass w/ a maraschino cherry. Pour and enjoy!

  2. Hurray for good cocktails. I have to fight tooth and nail to get a gin fizz in SF so maybe I’ll just switch, although the Rob Roy IMO is the Perfect Manhattan. :-)

    (In re: gin fizz dearth: I have tried EVERY schmancy cocktail joint and have basically given up because I inevitably get “schooled” by the bartender who gives me a Ramos fizz or silver fizz. I’ve stopped short of printing out a few copies of the recipes from a classic cocktail book because that just seems ridiculous. Luckily those bars usually have Anchor on tap!)

    • I forgot about Comstock! They whipped me up a very tasty Gin Fizz with zero attitude. I love the feel of that place in general, but they truly won me over on the cocktails. (Hmm… Sounds like a familiar refrain…)

  3. Yeah, I’ve gotten into long discussions with fellow bartenders and cocktail geeks about whether the egg white should be the default in drinks like the Gin Fizz or Whiskey Sour.

    Egg White is certainly not included by default historically in either of those drinks, but for whatever reason the Silver Fizz and Boston Sour have become the bartender defaults for those categories.

    I should think you should be able to get a decent enough fizz simply by saying, “Gin Fizz, no egg white,” but if not, maybe it is best to stick with beer. Though part of the problem is most bars don’t have the appropriate glassware for fizzes, generally only Cocktail Glasses and then the larger Collins Glasses.

  4. I’ve had similar problems ordering an Irish coffee outside of SF city/county limits. Creme de menthe, Bailey’s, and Kalua, are NOT ingredients in Irish coffee. Sheesh.

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