S.I.P.#5: Tom Collins

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The fifth S.I.P. event is coming, and the theme it brings in the spotlight is Tom Collins, an evergreen classic long drink.

Born John Collins, it was mentioned in Harry Johnson’s «New And Improved Bartenders’ Manual» in 1882. At that time Collins was based on Dutch gin also known as genever or jenever. When Old Tom gin has came to market, John Collins found a brother Tom Collins by name. In Tom Collins bartenders utilized English gin – Old Tom, Plymouth and London Dry, of course.

It was Tom Collins who has became popular long drink while his brother John remained little known because of genever’s limited availability.

In the second half of 20th century Americans have thought of John Collins. But for the newfound John they used bourbon whiskey and not genever. New thing is none other than forgotten old thing. Ironically, Americans pretend to be Tom Collins inventors and John Collins is a Britain-born long drink which was named after London Limmer’s Hotel bar waiter John Collins.

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Gin Fix

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I have a secret: my favourite summer drinks are based on gin so it’s not Mojito or Paloma but Tom Collins, Gin Fizz, Gin Fix, Gin Daisy, Gin Smash etc. I found it a bit weird when I saw people going mad about Mojito or Cuba Libre. Sure, rum is exceptional in tiki but I can’t imagine summer without dry Gin & Tonic or Negroni.

So I’m going to talk about simple long drinks with gin, lemon juice and sugar. Honestly, I don’t know how far I’ll go but Gin Fix is the first drink I want to talk about.

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Tuxedo Cocktail

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I’ve learnt about Tuxedo cocktail from David Wondrich’s Esquire Drink Database. So I thought that it’s made exclusively with sherry. Once enjoying Tuxedo with genever and dry sherry, I started to search for more information about this cocktail. To my shame, it appears that Tuxedo was a well-known and popular cocktail in the first half of 20th century.
The oldest source I could find, Harry Johnson’s «New And Improved Bartendes’ Manual» described Tuxedo as a cocktail with French vermouth, not sherry.

Later sources, «The Savoy Cocktail Book» and «Approved Cocktails, authorized by UK bartenders guild» also mentioned Tuxedo with vermouth. Moreover, «The Savoy Cocktail Book» contains two Tuxedo versions.

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