The Ginger Collins: A Refreshing Twist on a Classic Refresher


When it comes to invigorating and timeless cocktails, the Collins family holds a special place. Among its distinguished members, the Ginger Collins stands out with its zesty kick and delightful fusion of ginger and citrus flavors. In this article, we’ll dive into the history of the Collins cocktail, explore exciting variations of the Ginger Collins, recommend the perfect gin and vodka options, and uncover the essence of what makes a drink a Collins. We’ll also discover the origin of the term “Collins” and how it has evolved over time.

To make the ginger syrup:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup fresh ginger, peeled and sliced

Instructions for ginger syrup:

  1. In a saucepan, combine water, sugar, and ginger slices.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes, allowing the ginger flavor to infuse.
  4. Remove the saucepan from heat and let the syrup cool.
  5. Strain the ginger slices from the syrup and discard them.
  6. Transfer the ginger syrup to a clean container and store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Note: Adjust the amount of ginger syrup according to your taste preferences. You can add more if you prefer a stronger ginger flavor or adjust it slightly if you prefer a milder taste.

Enjoy your homemade Ginger Collins, a refreshing and zesty twist on the classic Collins cocktail! Cheers!

The History of Collins Cocktails

Collins cocktails have a rich history that can be traced back to the early 19th century. The first recorded mention of a Collins-style drink appeared in “The Bartender’s Guide” by Jerry Thomas in 1876. Originally, the Collins referred to a simple combination of spirit, lemon juice, sugar, and soda water. However, over time, the Collins concept expanded to include various flavor additions and became synonymous with refreshing, effervescent concoctions.

The Ginger Collins and Variations

The Ginger Collins takes the classic Collins blueprint and adds a bold twist with the addition of ginger, infusing the drink with a spicy, invigorating character. Here are a few variations to explore:

  1. Classic Ginger Collins: This version features gin as the base spirit, combining it with fresh lemon juice, ginger syrup, and soda water. The ginger syrup can be made by simmering fresh ginger, sugar, and water together and then straining the mixture.
  2. Vodka Ginger Collins: For those who prefer vodka, this variation replaces gin with vodka while keeping the rest of the ingredients the same. The smoothness of vodka allows the ginger and citrus flavors to shine through.

Gin and Vodka Recommendations

When selecting the ideal spirits for your Ginger Collins, consider these options:

Gin Recommendations:

  1. London Dry Gin: Known for its juniper-forward profile and balanced botanicals, London Dry Gin complements the citrus and ginger notes in the cocktail.
  2. New Western-Style Gin: This contemporary style of gin often emphasizes unique botanical combinations, lending an interesting twist to the Ginger Collins.

Vodka Recommendations:

  1. Clean and Crisp Vodka: Look for a high-quality, neutral vodka that offers a clean and crisp taste. This allows the ginger and citrus flavors to take center stage without interference.

What Defines a Collins Cocktail?

A Collins cocktail typically consists of a base spirit, fresh lemon juice, sugar (or simple syrup), and soda water. The combination creates a refreshing and effervescent drink perfect for warm weather or any occasion that calls for a thirst-quencher. The key defining feature of a Collins is its use of soda water, which gives the cocktail its signature fizz.

Origin of the Term “Collins”

The term “Collins” in relation to cocktails is believed to have originated from John Collins, a headwaiter at Limmer’s Old House in London during the early 19th century. The story goes that Collins was particularly fond of the simple combination of spirit, lemon juice, sugar, and soda water. This became known as the “John Collins” cocktail. Over time, the name evolved to encompass a broader category of drinks, including various flavors and variations.

Collins Glass Recommendations

Now that you’ve learned this fun new variation, do you need to add some glassware to your home bar? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!!!


With its refreshing blend of ginger, citrus, and effervescence, this version stands as a delightful variation within the Collins cocktail family. Whether you opt for a gin-based or vodka-based rendition, the zesty flavors and invigorating fizz will undoubtedly leave you satisfied. By understanding the origins of Collins cocktails, exploring different spirit options, and embracing the ginger twist, you can savor the rejuvenating appeal of the Ginger Collins.

So, raise your glass, garnish with a slice of ginger or a sprig of mint, and enjoy the revitalizing experience of a Ginger Collins.