ORIGINAL SPIRITS: THE TOM COLLINS Tuesday, February 01, 2011

When was the last time you tried a Tom Collins?

This proto-American cocktail is almost as old as the Martini, and is credited to the godfather of visionary mixologists, Jerry Thomas of New York, who crafted and popularized this deceptively simple drink by mixing gin, simple syrup and lemon juice with club soda—just in time for the U.S.’s first centennial.

In the 135 years since then, the Tom Collins, unlike the Martini, has little changed. But in the past couple of decades, with the rise of the Mojito, the Caipirinha and Martinis of all stripes, the Tom Collins seems to have been eclipsed on drink menus across the land, if not forgotten altogether. Since we aim to honor the past as much as we strive to reinvent it, we decided to pay tribute to Thomas by taking a stab at his classic concoction.

The Original Tom Collins is still made with dry London gin, it’s still mixed with soda water and it’s still served on the rocks. And, just as Thomas most certainly would have, we mix in juice from freshly squeezed lemons.

But with a signature twist, we substitute the traditional simple syrup for our own housemade, jerk-crafted Citrus Lemongrass syrup, with its blended notes of zest, honey and—of course—lemongrass.

When the ingredients have all been stirred together, we drop into the drink one Amaretto-soaked cherry and garnish it a second time with two wafer-thin slices of dehydrated lemon.

(Tip: Stir your lemons into the drink. Once they’ve have properly marinated in the gin, eat one, rind and all. Then, before your last sip, eat the other. Notice their taste creates a slightly bitter balance to this tart and refreshing cocktail).

Stop by The Original soon and rediscover—and remember why you’ve always loved—the Tom Collins.