The History Series: Who is Tom Collins?

We love our Tom Collins glasses. In our minds, they are the perfect glass - they are versatile (appropriate for a lot of beverages), they are beautiful (our hand-etchings elevate any drink) and they are unique (our smokey blue and olive shades are exclusive Half Past Seven colors). We have been using our Tom Collins glasses regularly but realized we didn't know much about their origin. Who is Tom and how did he get a glass named after him?


Half Past Seven Starry Tom Collins

What is a Tom Collins glass…

A Tom Collins glass is a cocktail glass that is narrower and taller than a traditional rocks glass. Historically, the glass is associated with fizzy cocktails, as its shape is able to keep the drink carbonated longer by reducing the surface area of the drink.  


A little about “Tom”

The Tom Collins drink was first noted in 1882 in Harry Johnson’s New and Improved Bartender’s Manual. His recipe included gin and fizzy lemonade. The drink alludes to an English drink originally known as a John Collins. This drink was named for the head waiter at a London hotel in the late 1700s - early 1800s, who served it regularly. The original John Collins recipe specifically called for Old Tom gin and historians believe that over the years, the name adapted to Tom Collins due to the key ingredient. 

The prank!

In the late 1800s, a prank became common in the northern American states. People would approach a friend and ask “Do you know Tom Collins? He’s talking about you at the local bar.” The listener would then race to the bar and ask for Tom Collins… only to receive a cocktail. 

Best drinks for a Tom Collins glass

A classic Tom Collins cocktail

2oz of gin

1oz lemon juice

1/2oz simple syrup

Club soda to fill

Top with a slice of lemon or orange and a cherry

Tom Collins glasses are also perfect for a gin and tonic, a Paloma, a mojito and a slew of mocktails. While cocktails and mocktails are delicious in our Tom Collins glasses, they are also the perfect vessel for iced coffee. Our clear glasses show off the color of your coffee perfectly and elevate the start to your day immediately. Additionally, our Tom Collins glasses are great for … water! Not nearly as exciting as the other drinks, but these glasses perfectly double as an elevated water glass.

Half Past Seven Striped Tom Collins

← Older Post Newer Post →

Leave a comment

More Inspo & Tips

How She Hosts: Priss & Vinegar's Heather Fusco

The Bar Bundle: Why We Love It

Mimosa Bar Bundle: Why We Love It