Summer serves: the Parlour Collins


Photograph: Joakim Blockstrom

Photograph: Joakim Blockstrom

A twist on the Collins, this gin-based summer cocktail, presented by Amanda Baxter and created by Michele Mariotti, takes its name from the Parlour at No.3 St James’s.

This fresh summer drink is a twist on the classic Collins that combines gin, sugar and lemon juice then is lengthened with something fresh and sparkling. There are many stories surrounding the origins of the name “Collins”; my favourite, however, quotes this poem from the 1830s about John Collins from the Limmer’s Hotel. The hotel bar itself was a late night haunt for gentlemen in the “sporting world” and although described as “dirty, gloomy and comfortless” it was famous for its gin punch and almost always fully booked.

My name is John Collins, head waiter at Limmer’s,
Corner of Conduit Street, Hanover Square,
My chief occupation is filling brimmers
For all the young gentlemen frequenters there.

The drink was first memorialised in writing in 1876 by celebrated bar tender and author of How to Mix Drinks, Jerry Thomas, as a “gin and sparkling lemonade”. It has been updated for our No.3 Gin by Michele Mariotti of Jason Atherton’s new bar and restaurant Sosharu.

The Parlour Collins
  • 50ml No.3 Gin
  • 30ml fresh lemon juice
  • 15ml sugar syrup (heat one part sugar to one or two parts water until dissolved, cool and bottle)
  • Three sage leaves (plus more to garnish)
  • Elderflower tonic

Shake the first four ingredients over ice. Strain into a highball filled to the top with fresh ice. Top with elderflower tonic and garnish with sage leaves.