People often mistakenly (or jokingly) call me Tom Collins after the famous drink. What most people don’t know, however, is that there is an older, more classy cocktail named John Collins. Although it’s not as famous as the Tom Collins the John Collins is delicious. Next time you have the opportunity I’d recommend trying it. It’s made from a very rare type of gin called Bols Genever.
Bols Genever is a liquor on par with champagne and cognac. It can only be made in Holland from the highest quality ingredients. Genever is produced by the oldest spirits company, Lucas Bols, founded in 1575. In the 19th Century, genever was 6 times as popular as gin. It’s similar to whiskey in taste because of a delicious blend of wheat, rye and corn. According to their website, “This flavor-rich distillate is carefully blended with a juniper-berry distillate and brought to 42% alcohol, a percentage carefully chosen by our master distiller for the perfect combination of aroma and mouth feel. The attention to detail in the distilling process is comparable to a fine single malt Scotch.”
John Collins: The Recipe
Combine Bol Genever, lemon juice, and simple syrup in an ice-filled shaker. Shake, then strain into an ice-filled Collins glass. Top with seltzer. Garnish with a lemon wedge and cherry (if desired).
- 1 1/2 ounces Bol Genever
- 1/2 ounce lemon juice
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- 1-2 ounces seltzer
- 1 lemon wedge
- optional: cherry
Other sources say that an alternate version of the John Collins cocktail can be made by substituting the gin in a Tom Collins with either bourbon or rye whiskey. Additionally, there is a Jack Collins (my childhood nick-name) cocktail that uses applejack instead of gin.
Next time you’re out, try a John or Jack Collins and let me know what you think!