The Tom Collins is perhaps the ultimate highball and one of history’s most enduring cocktails. It was historically made with Old Tom gin, which is sweeter than London dry gin, but the drink works well with both types of the spirit. (Old Tom only recently became available again, thanks to the clamoring of mixologists.) A peculiar methodology is used in mixing up a Tom Collins. Though it contains fresh juice, which usually dictates that the drink must be shaken, it is nonetheless often built in the glass in which it is served. But shaking the drink and then straining it into an ice-filled highball works as well, and arguably leads to a better integrated cocktail.
- 2ounces Old Tom or London Dry gin
- 1ounce simple syrup
- ¾ounce lemon juice
- Soda water
- Lemon wedge, for garnish
- Cocktail cherry, for garnish
Step 1Shake gin, syrup and juice with ice until chilled, about 15 seconds. Strain into an ice-filled highball. Top with soda water. Garnish with lemon wheel or wedge and a cherry.