My name is Tom Collins, I am a cocktail and the same is happening to me as to many of my brothers : doubtful fatherhood.
Some people are telling that I was born from a bad joke in New York at the end of the nineteen century and the joke was the following.
Somebody was entering a bar and was asking an acquaintance if he knew a certain Tom Collins.The answer was negative as it was a fictitious name. The following was to say that this Tom Collins was speaking badly of that person in other places, giving invented details to make him crossed.
It became like a snowball as many of the persons who had been victims of the joke started to use it with other people. It caused a great stir, also in the “medias”. and it was called then “The great Tom Collins hoax”.
In 1876, the famous barman Jerry Thomas is mentioning in his book: “The bartender´s Guide” a cocktail that he calls “Tom Collins”.
Others want to endorse me this name because of a London barman, called John Collins. The surname was kept but the name was changed in honour of the gin called Old Tom (a very popular gin in the eighteen century). At the door of some clandestine bars one could see wooden plates with a cat´s shape. When you put a coin in the cat´s mouth and your lips around a small tube situated between the animal´s legs, you could drink a swig of gin served by the waiter from inside the bar. In honor of the cat that gin was called “Old Tom”.
Another source says that I was created by an irish immigrant around 1850 as a relief for the unbearable summer heat in New York.
2 parts of gin (60ml), 1 part of lemon juice (30ml), 1 teaspoon of sugar, soda, lemon slices and mint leaves to decorate.