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This Thirsty Thursday, mix up your cocktail game with a drink that may not be too familiar: a Tom Collins!

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What's a Tom Collins?

A Tom Collins dates back to 1876 when "the Father of American Mixology," Jerry Thomas, first described the it in writing as a "gin and sparkling lemonade" drink. The cocktail gets its name from the glass it's served in, a Collins glass, which is cylindrical in shape and narrower than a highball glass. The traditional ingredients are simple: gin, lemon juice, sugar and carbonated water, but many variations exist, including the Brandy Collins (using Brandy), the Jack Collins (using applejack) and the Ron Collins (using rum).

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups gin

3/4 cup lemon juice

2 cups club soda

Ice

In a small saucepan, bring 2 tablespoons water to a boil over medium heat. Stir in the sugar until dissolved. Let cool.

In a pitcher, stir together the gin, lemon juice and cooled sugar syrup. Stir in the club soda. Pour into 6 ice-filled tall glasses.

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