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How to Make a Collins Drink

Collins drinks are basically �sours� with club soda added. You start off with 2 oz of your base liquor, add 2 oz or so of sour mix, and top it off with some Club Soda.

As with other basic drink types, most people vary the ingredient ratios a bit depending on the particular drink they are working toward, and sometimes they will add in a few extra ingredients to punch it up a bit.

Let�s start out with the sour part of the equation.

You can buy sour mix pre-made, but let�s be honest here, you are going to put this in your mouth and swallow it. Collins drinks are much better when they are made with freshly squeezed juice, and it doesn�t cost more or take any extra time to do it this way.

As you will see with the recipes below, each version of the sour mix is slightly different depending on the type of liquor.

To make a basic sour mix, you just add 1 part sugar to 2 parts water and 2 parts lemon or lime juice. You can alternatively add 2 parts of lemon and/or lime juice to 3 parts simple syrup.

Now, this is where the art comes in. You can really improve your sour mix by juicing fresh lemons or limes (make sure you use it within a few days � the taste will deteriorate quickly even in the fridge). You can also add the zest from half an orange, grapefruit, lemon or lime to the mix and let it hang out for a few minutes. My favorite sour mix is the stuff I make out of key limes. It is absolutely delicious.

Other names of sour mix are: Sweet and Sour Mix, Collins Mix, and Margarita Mix. These are all basically the same thing, with minor adjustments in the ratios depending on the brand or style.

Tom Collins

The Tom Collins is a classic drink from the late 19th century that became very popular in the United States after vets returned home from Word War I and World War II. It achieved its zenith in the 1950s, but has made its resurgence lately as cocktails have enjoyed renewed interest. Here�s how to make one:

2 oz Gin
1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
� oz simple syrup
3 oz chilled Club Soda
Lemon Slice
Maraschino Cherry

Add the first three ingredients to a mixing glass and stir with ice. Strain into a rocks glass and garnish with the lemon slice and the cherry.

John Collins (a.k.a. Colonel Collins)

This drink is basically the same as a Tom Collins, except it uses bourbon.

2 oz Bourbon
1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
� oz simple syrup
5 oz chilled Club Soda
Orange Slice
Lemon Slice
Maraschino Cherry

Add the first three ingredients to a mixing glass and stir with ice. Strain into a tall glass and garnish with the fruit.

Ron Collins (a.k.a. Pedro Collins)

This is a Collins made with Rum

2 oz Light Rum
1 oz fresh lime juice
1 tbl sugar
3 oz club soda
Lime Slice
Maraschino Cherry

Add the first three ingredients to a mixing glass and stir with ice. Strain into a tall glass and garnish with the lime slice and the cherry.

Tex Collins

2 oz Gin
3 oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice
1 tbl Honey
3 oz Club Soda
Maraschino Cherry

Add the first three ingredients to a mixing glass and stir with ice. Strain into a tall glass and garnish with the cherry.

Want more? Check out some other variations:

  • Sandy Collins (Substitute Scotch Whisky)
  • Comrade Collins (Substitute Vodka)
  • Jose Collins (Substitute Tequila)
  • Mike Collins (Substitute Irish Whiskey)
  • Brandy Collins (Substitute Brandy; don�t waste your Cognac on this, you won�t be able to taste it � just use regular Brandy)

A drunken man gets on the bus late one night, staggers up the aisle, and sits next to an elderly woman.

She looks the man up and down and says, "I've got news for you. You're going straight to hell!"

The man jumps up out of his seat and shouts, "Man, I'm on the wrong bus!"
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"When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading."
-Henny Youngman

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