Order a Tom Collins in most bars and you’re likely to get back something that tastes like Gatorade. Make it at home, take about thirty more seconds than the restaurants do, and you’ll taste a complete 180° on this tall, refreshing quaff. Serve it on a hot afternoon and you’ll get the picture pretty quick. This is a great one for people who say they don’t like gin – especially when made with the original Old Tom style of gin versus London Dry. Couldn’t be smoother. Story goes the traditional garnish on the East Coast is an orange wheel with a maraschino cherry; West Coast gets a lime wheel and maraschino cherry. Midwesterners, I say split the difference and use a lemon.
2 oz Old Tom gin
1 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
1 oz tonic water or sparkling mineral water
Add first three ingredients to a shaker.
Shake well to blend and chill.
Strain into a Collins glass filled about two-thirds of the way up with cracked ice.
Top with tonic water or sparkling mineral water.
Stir lightly to blend and garnish with a lime (or orange or lemon) wheel and maraschino cherry pierced on a cocktail pick.
Optionally, serve with a straw.