Historically Inspired Cocktails - Part II

The world of cocktails is as wide and disparate as the number of bars and bartenders willing to play with ingredients. While many of us are familiar with the canon of classics, there is also a long history of paying homage to personages and events over ice and with a garnish. This month we will be exploring history for cocktail inspiration, both to uncover delicious cocktails, but also to learn the story behind the liquid and the people who inspired it. Join us on Saturdays at 2pm on Instagram Live this month to see what stories and flavor combinations we've uncovered!

Last week, inspired by sea shanties, Eric mixed up the macabre Nelson's Blood. Up next, he'll be looking at the hilarious origins of the Tom Collins. Ostensibly named for a prank, "The Great Tom Collins Hoax 0f 1874", further scholarship indicates that its roots go deeper than that. It is likely descended from a drink from the 1860s called a John Collins, which was essentially a cold gin punch, named for a the head waiter at a London coffeehouse. An 1869 recipe called for Old Tom Gin (another name shrouded in mystery and apocrypha), and the theory is that that accounts for the name change when Jerry Thomas first wrote down the recipe for the Tom Collins in 1976.

Whichever origin story you choose to believe, the Tom Collins is a classic highball that gave its name to glassware, but which has fallen off most people's radar. This is a real pity, because there's a lot you can do with the combination of gin, citrus, sugar, and bubbles. Join Eric on November 13 for his take on the Tom Collins.