How derelict is it to maintain a website about gin and tacos without making sure that the public is properly informed about how best to enjoy these foods? Very derelict.

Come, take my hand. I am going to review the absolute basics for proper gin and taco enjoyment. You will be a better person by the end of this piece. We will focus on gin first.

I. The Tom Collins

There are countless mixed drinks that feature gin. The most common, the martini and the gin & tonic, are not worthy of our focus. Martinis have a folklore built up around them, as purists try in vain to distill the "perfect" one. I leave it to such people to debate the merits and techniques of this drink. Gin & tonic is far too simplistic to warrant our attention. Pouring two ingredients over ice requires no guide.

The perfect Collins, courtesy Joe @ The Underground Lounge

Instead we focus on the Tom Collins. Legend has it named after the Head Waiter at a particular London hotel in the late 19th Century. The Museum of the American Cocktail exhibit in New Orleans also suspected that its name derives from the use of a sweetened form of gin known as "Old Tom." Since we do not have access to archaic Victorian liquors, here are the basic ingredients of a modern Collins:

  • dry gin (Hendricks is superior for this purpose)
  • club soda (not tonic water, as some recipies erroneously claim)
  • pre-made Tom Collins mix (for efficiency) or lemon juice sweetened with extra-fine granulated sugar at a 1 oz to 1 tsp ratio (for authenticity).

    Extensive field testing (and I do mean extensive) has proven the superior ratio of these three ingredients to be 1:1:1. It seems overly simplistic, but it is accurate. Produce the cocktail by filling a shaker with ice cubes and 1/3 cup (liquid measure, of course) of gin. Shot glasses are poor measuring devices. Use measuring cups to get this perfect, otherwise the ratios will be off and the flavors imbalanced. Pour in your gin, and let it rest for a moment. The alcohol will melt the ice and add just a bit of water to the mix. Then measure off 1/3 cup of the remaining two ingredients. Shake vigorously. Your intent is to get the sugary syrup in the lemon juice (or pre-made mix) to become aerated and frothy. This is the key to getting a light, sweet drink rather than one with a thick sugary residue. Pour into glasses filled with additional ice. The proper garnish is a cherry with either a lemon or orange wedge according to your preference. Limes are flat-out wrong.

    II. Sizzurp

    Three 6 Mafia said it best when they alerted a generation of Americans to the prevalence of recreational cough syrup usage: "Take that monkey shit off, you embarrassing us. I got the wet promenthazine, the orange and yellow Tuss."


    This song incited a mad quest to uncover the true, authentic recipie for sippin' sizzurp. Variations abound on the internet. However, careful analysis of the group's oeuvre reveals the proper contents to be:

  • Robo-X (aka Tuss Ten, aka Sizzurp, aka Robitussin X with Coediene)
  • 1 Jolly Rancher hard candy (or flavored cough drop, preferably not menthol)
  • 1 Large Sprite from Sonic Drive-Thru (hey, you want it authentic right?) with half of the soda either consumed or discarded
  • Seagram's Gin

    Not being men of weights and measures, the exact ratio of these ingredients cannot be deduced from Three 6 Mafia lyrics. However, an approximation would be to discard half of the liquid from the Large Sprite as noted above. Pour one (standard 4 ounce pharmacy size) bottle of Robo-X and an ample but not overpowering quantity of gin into the cup. Shake well. The presence of ice is controversial. At this point it may be best to empty the mixture, sans ice, into a large glass or other appropriate receptacle for consumption. Don't forget to garnish with the Jolly Rancher or cough drop.

    And there you have it. I will consider this sizzurp recipie to be authoritative until proven otherwise.


    • WORD OF WARNING: If you make a Tom Collins in a normal non-bar-standard shaker (the kind with a top, not the kind with a glass cup for the top) the carbination will pop the top off if you shake it hard. Be warned. I usually pour cup-to-cup and back again and it works fine.

    • As long as we're going for capslock,

      WORD OF WARNING: When selecting your Robitussin, be sure to get some *without* acetaminophen. If you consume too much, it'll kill you.

    • We all have questions about medicine. Do you know enough about your medicine. Do you want
      to know more about your medicine? Does your medicine mix with other medicine? What over
      the counter medicine do you need to avoid with your medicine. Get answers to your medicine
      types here.

    • sleezy bone says:

      I dig the recipe for sizzurp, it is very proper. But to be a very technical rap fan, it was not Three 6 Mafia who stated that people need to take their monkey shit off, it was Pimp C, who was a member of Southern rap duo UGK, and who passed away three years ago, ironically enough because he suffered from sleep apnea and an OD of sizzurp exacerbated that condition and caused his death. Just wanted to set the record straight in honor of Chad Butler/Pimp C's death.

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